by Max Brantley
State Sen. Sharon Trusty, the Russellville Republican, will resign from her Senate seat to tend to family health matters. She gave notice of the decision today, effective Sept. 1.
Michael Lamoureux, another Republican from Russellville, is a potential candidate for the seat, but won't announce any time soon. Former GOP Rep. Stan Berry of Dover is also interested. Politics is a two-way streett of course. A Democrat will run, too.
There will be a special election, likely in early 2010, on the call of the governor, to fill the more than two years left on her term. Sitting legislators won't be eligible to run for the seat because it will be filled while they are in current terms. The governor first must ask the parties if they want a primary to choose nominees.
Gov. Beebe's statement:
"I have known Sharon since we served together in the Senate, and she has always been amicable to work with, even when we have been on opposite sides of an issue. Mine and Ginger's thoughts and prayers are with the Trusty family, and I thank Sharon for her service to Arkansas and its people." – Governor Mike Beebe
Under Arkansas law, Governor Beebe will ask the state committees of the respective political parties to determine whether their nominee for a special election will be chosen through a special primary election or through a convention of delegates. The parties then have ten days to report their decision in writing to the governor. Governor Beebe will then set a date for the special election, along with a special primary election and runoff primary election if necessary.
Arkansas law mandates that all elections to fill this vacancy be completed within 150 days of Senator Trusty's resignation. The effective date of the resignation will be September 1.