Friday, April 21, 2006


Bill blocked to appoint secretary of state

Capitol News Bureau

A House panel narrowly rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to make the elected secretary of state’s job appointive.Secretary of State Al Ater pushed for the legislation, arguing that the overseer of elections should not be involved in fund raising and partisan politics.

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 5-5 on House Bill 429, effectively bottling up the legislation sponsored by Rep. Hollis Downs, R-Ruston.But there were objections to making another statewide elected office appointive — taking it out of the hands of voters.

Most recently the commissioner of elections, which had been in an elected position, was merged into the Secretary of State’s Office.Ater already has announced he is not running for the secretary of state’s job in the September special election.

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