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Arizona House set to debate bill for office of lieutenant governor

(Arizona Capitol Museum Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — A Republican lawmaker has made enough noise about creating an office of lieutenant governor in the state that the Arizona House planned to debate a measure.

Rep. J.D. Mesnard of Chandler sponsored the proposal in conjunction with a voter referral.

The Republican lawmaker’s proposal would merge the position of lieutenant governor with the director of the Arizona Department of Administration.

“You think people know the next in line is the secretary of state? I doubt it,” Mesnard said last month.

There have been four secretaries of state and one attorney general to reach the governor’s office since 1977.

Republican Jan Brewer was the last in 2009, when she took over after Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano left to take charge of Homeland Security.

Legislative analysts said Arizona is one of five states without the position. Mesnard sponsored two similar proposals last session that died in the Senate.

“We’ve had everything from resignations to appointments to other things to impeachments to convictions for fraud to deaths of governors,” Mesnard recently told Arizona Capitol News.

“About every way a governor can leave office has happened in Arizona,” he said.

Voters turned away similar propositions to create the office in 1994 and 2010.

Mesnard said he believed gubernatorial candidates should choose a running mate to be lieutenant governor rather than going through a primary election.

The House is set to debate House Bill 2252 on Thursday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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