Parties Not Ready to Discuss Filling Rockefeller's Vacancy Yet

JULY 17, 2006 - Posted at 10:25 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The chairmen of Arkansas' Democratic and Republican parties say it's too soon to talk about whether, or how, to fill the lieutenant governor's vacancy following Win Rockefeller's death.

Under the Arkansas constitution, Governor Huckabee cannot appoint anyone to serve out the five-and-a-half months remaining in terms of the lieutenant governor, who died yesterday.  If the vacancy is to be filled, it will have to be done in a special election.

Republican Party Chairman Gilbert Baker and Democratic Party Chairman Jason Willett issued a rare joint statement today praising Rockefeller as one of Arkansas' great leaders.  They said they would refrain from discussing the possibility of a special election to fill his seat.

They said now is not the day for politics as usual, but a time for reflection and honoring Rockefeller and his family.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)