A state representative running for the Arkansas' second-highest office joined Thursday a list of public officials who have called on Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign after the state Ethics Commission determined that Darr violated campaign-finance laws.
State Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, said on his Facebook election page Thursday afternoon that he thinks Darr's presence would be an "unnecessary distraction" from other issues in the forthcoming fiscal session.
Mayberry acknowledged he would be ineligible to run if a special election were called because he is a sitting state representative, but he said calling for Darr's resignation was right regardless.
"From a personal perspective, I understand that traditional political wisdom would indicate that Mark Darr's resignation might diminish my own opportunities to win a general election," he said. "In the end, though, we all have to do what we believe is the right thing."
The Arkansas Ethics Commission sent Darr a public letter of reprimand Tuesday after it found Darr, a Republican, had violated 11 statutory provisions and had misspent more than $44,000 in campaign and taxpayer funds dating back to 2010, when he ran for office.
On New Year's Eve, Gov. Mike Beebe and most of the state's U.S. legislators — Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Tom Cotton — called on Darr to resign.
"Before making today's announcement, I gave myself a litmus test," Mayberry said. "If a member of the opposing political party had admitted to these same violations under the same circumstances, would I expect that person to resign? The answer is undoubtedly 'yes.' If that would be my answer for a Democrat, that needs to be my answer for a Republican, too."