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Bill to keep lieutenant governor's office vacant advances

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 19, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas senators have cleared a path for a vote on a bill aimed at keeping the lieutenant governor's office vacant until the November general election.

A Senate committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would enable Gov. Mike Beebe to not call a special election for the lieutenant governor's office. The position has been vacant since Mark Darr resigned on Feb. 1.

The bill's sponsor, Senate Republican Leader Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot, says that holding the election would cost at least $1 million. The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Darr, a Republican, resigned under the threat of impeachment and after the state Ethics Commission fined him $11,000 for ethics violations tied to his office and campaign spending.

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