Gov. Mike Beebe doesn't plan to call a special election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of state Sen. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home, to start work for the University of Arkansas System, a spokesman for Beebe said Thursday.
Key's resignation became effective Thursday to enable him to become the UA System's $130,000-a-year associate vice president for university relations. He served in the state Senate from 2009 until Thursday and previously was in the state House of Representatives from 2003-09.
Key represented Senate District 17, which includes parts of Baxter, Boone and Marion counties.
After narrowly defeating state Rep. John Burris of Harrison in a June runoff, Mountain Home Republican Scott Flippo is unopposed for the Senate seat in the general election. Lawmakers elected this year will be sworn in Jan. 12, the first day of the 2015 regular legislative session.
Beebe "sees it as prudent to avoid the costs and logistical hurdles of a special election to briefly fill the vacancy caused by Sen. Key's departure," Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said.
If both parties decided to select their candidates through a convention, the election could be held on the same day as the Nov. 4 general election, DeCample said. However, the results of the special election wouldn't be certified until mid-November, and there are currently no plans to call the Legislature into special session during the holiday season, he said.
If either party decided to opt for a primary election, the schedule set under state law wouldn't allow the special election to be held before 2015, he said.
Metro on 08/01/2014
Print Headline: No election to fill Key’s empty seat, Beebe says