I have been notified that I will be serving as Acting Governor beginning later this evening until mid-morning tomorrow. Read my full statement below. pic.twitter.com/sSuiSCebk4
— Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee (@AZTreasurerYee) September 27, 2023
In her press release, Ms. Yee announced that she would refrain from filling the 13 vacant agency directorships despite having the statutory authority. She addressed concerns about the ongoing dispute with the Legislature regarding the selections, expressing a desire for the Governor to “promptly name qualified directors.” (story here: https://thearizonaglobe.com/
It is a common practice for state and national leaders to temporarily relinquish control when the chief executive undergoes dental or medical procedures. On June 12, 2023, Vice President Kamala Harris assumed Presidential duties while President Biden underwent a root canal. In addition, many states invoke the rule when their Governors travel.
The state of New Jersey witnessed four successive interim governors after Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman resigned in January 2001 to become head of George W. Bush’s EPA, with Democratic Sen. president Richard Codey serving nearly a year. Because the Senate was evenly divided, co-Senate president, Republican Donald DiFrancesco then got a turn and then so did Attorney General John Farmer Jr. But perhaps the most memorable stint belonged to State Sen. John O. Bennett. While serving for only three and half days, he managed to sign legislation, appoint judges, grant a pardon to a buddy to clear his record of a bookmaking conviction, and create a “nursing advisory council” for his wife, who was a nurse.
Here at home, according to Article V, Section 6 of the Constitution of Arizona, if the governor is indisposed, first the Secretary of State serves, then the Attorney General, then the Treasurer then the Superintendent of Public Instruction. In this case, Katie Hobbs, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Attorney General Kris Mayes have all left the state. It’s creating quite a buzz on X and other social media. While it’s not uncommon for the top exec to step away for short periods, the absence of all three is unusual. Especially with President Biden arriving in Phoenix today. Yee’s temporary appointment will likely run through noon today (PST).
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