LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - On January 10, the Arkansas State Senate officially starts doing business. For this term a Region 8 Senator will be banging the gavel as President Pro Tem.
Following in his father's footsteps albeit 20 years later . Senator Paul Bookout assumed leadership of the Senate.
Bookout, "Every 2 years a Senator whosever turn it might be if he had served in the Senate long enough then he would be eligible to be President Pro Tem and that's the way it would happen."
That was before term limits, now a Senator runs for the position and is elected to serve and get office number 301.
Bookout , "At the very end of the session you have a formal vote within the body for the next President of the Senate. So that's what occurred at the last of the previous session. Obviously I am very humbled and looking forward to the challenge . I know it's a great deal of responsibility my colleagues have placed upon me."
The outgoing President Bob Johnson put it to the Senate for a vote. Since the previous session but an election has been held since then. So the freshmen Senators get a chance to approve the nomination.
Bookout, "There's a reaffirmation if you will or conformation of what the previous body voted on and that's what's going on."
Amidst the speeches and accolades and welcomes for the new Senators it seemed appropriate for Senator Bookout to show me a painting of Senator Jerry Bookout who was also President Pro Tem.
Bookout, "The fact that my dad held that position some 20 years ago obviously it can't help but have a special meaning to me."
Bookout will be officially sworn in on January 10th.
"I'm just going to continue to try to do the job the best I know how and represent Craighead County the best I know how and try to make my constituents proud and hopefully my dad in heaven will feel the same way. I hope so any way."