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Statement from Secretary Pate and former Secretaries of State regarding Attorney General's announcement
Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal WEBSITE: sos.iowa.gov
E-MAIL: sos@sos.iowa.gov
OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE
MEDIA CONTACT:
Kevin Hall
Communications Director
Kevin.Hall@sos.iowa.gov
(515) 725-2942
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 1, 2017

Statement from Secretary Pate and former Secretaries of State regarding Attorney General's announcement


DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate issues the following statement regarding the announcement by Attorney General Tom Miller:

"It is my position, as the State Commissioner of Elections, that both the Iowa Constitution and the Iowa Code agree that Kim Reynolds should be allowed to select a person to fill the vacancy in the Office of Lieutenant Governor upon her ascendancy to the Governor's Office. When this potential vacancy was announced, the Iowa Secretary of State's Office reached an opinion that concurred with the Attorney General's Office and the Office of the Governor.

The new opinion from Attorney General Tom Miller is confusing and unnecessary since Iowa Code § 69.8 allows a governor to appoint a Lieutenant Governor in case of a vacancy. There is sufficient legal authority for Governor Reynolds to fill the vacancy of Lieutenant Governor. I believe Attorney General Miller had this correct in his first analysis in December. Nothing in the Iowa Constitution, nor Iowa Code, has changed since then that would affect this legal authority." - Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections

In 2009, the Iowa Legislature passed a statute to clarify that if there is a vacancy in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Governor has the authority to fill that vacancy. Former Iowa Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections Michael Mauro proposed that provision and it was signed into law by former Secretary of State and then-Governor Chet Culver:

"I served as the Democratic Secretary of State in 2009. As Secretary of State, I proposed a commonsense change in the law that specifically says that a vacancy in the Office of Lieutenant Governor is to be filled by the Governor. The changes were accepted unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans in the Iowa Legislature and signed by Governor Culver. As Secretary of State, I prided myself in doing the right thing and implementing the law correctly, regardless of politics. I am disappointed Tom Miller is not doing the same." - Michael Mauro, former Iowa Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections

Former Iowa Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections Matt Schultz concurs:

"As former Secretary of State, it is my belief that the Iowa Constitution implies that an individual should occupy the Office of Lieutenant Governor, even when that vacancy is created after the Lieutenant Governor assumes the Office of Governor due to a resignation. This is made clear in Iowa Code section 69.8. I believe the law supports Kim Reynolds appointing an individual to the position of Lieutenant Governor after she is sworn in as Governor of this great state." - Matt Schultz, former Iowa Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections

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