From an editorial in the (Lenoir) News-Topic on Saturday:
Finally, an idea from Florida worth emulating. Of course, it was an accident, but an accidental worthy idea is still worthy.
Florida has been without a lieutenant governor for five months (he resigned amid a scandal), and all thats happened is the state saving money from not paying a lieutenant governor and his staff.
Which raises an old question: Does anyone really need a lieutenant governor?
They tend not to serve much of a purpose. As Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell wrote recently, The office has no official duties other than to remain alive. And other states have scrapped the position, creating succession plans that involve other officeholders who are just as capable of not dying.
Five states have no lieutenant governor: Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Wyoming.
Mainly, the position of lieutenant governor seems to be a spot for building name recognition for a future race for governor. But even that doesnt always work out. Witness poor Bill Bolling in Virginia, who served a term as lieutenant governor, chose to run for a second term four years ago rather than run for governor against a more appealing attorney general, then this year is blocked again by another ambitious and more popular attorney general.
As for name recognition, lieutenant governors often spend a lot of time simply trying to make headlines, as North Carolinas own Dan Forest is doing lately by picking fights with the state superintendent of public instruction.
Maybe this is an idea that needs to be added to the list of government reforms that the legislature hammered at in the session that ended last month. It would save money, and it would affect almost no one. Sounds like a winner.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less