Arizona Senate approves constitutional amendment providing for a lieutenant governor; approval in House sends it to voters in 2020

The Arizona State Senate approved a constitutional amendment on March 4, 2019, that would create the position of lieutenant governor. Arizona is one of five states that do not have a lieutenant governor. Approval in the state House would refer the constitutional amendment to the ballot for the election on November 3, 2020, for voter consideration.
 
Senate Republicans supported the amendment, while Democrats were divided, with six supporting and seven opposing the amendment. In the House, 31 votes are needed to approve the amendment. Republicans hold 31 seats in the House, and Democrats hold 29.
 
The amendment would require gubernatorial candidates to select a person as their running mate at least 60 days before the general election (unless the legislature selects a different date), and the two would be elected on a joint ticket. The amendment would take effect for the election on November 3, 2026.
 
Currently, the secretary of state is first in the line of succession to succeed the governor should a vacancy occur. The amendment would make the lieutenant governor the first in the line of succession. Since 1912, when Arizona became a state, the secretary of state has succeeded the governor due to a vacancy on six occasions. Twice—in 1988 and 2008—the successions caused a change in partisan control of the governor’s office.
 
Voters in Arizona have rejected two ballot measures to create the position of lieutenant governor. In 1994, 65.3 percent of voters rejected Proposition 100, which would have created the position of lieutenant governor. In 2010, 59.2 percent of voters rejected Proposition 111, which would have replaced the secretary of state with the lieutenant governor.



About the author

Ryan Byrne

Ryan Byrne is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at ryan.byrne@ballotpedia.org

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