Mark Darr

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Mark Darr
Mark Darr.jpg
19th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
In office
January 11, 2011 – February 1, 2014
Governor Mike Beebe
Preceded by Bill Halter
Succeeded by Tim Griffin
Personal details
Born (1973-07-03) July 3, 1973 (age 44)
Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kim Darr
Children 2
Residence Springdale, Arkansas
Alma mater Ouachita Baptist University

Mark A. Darr (born July 3, 1973) is an American politician from Springdale, Arkansas, who was his state's 15th lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2014. A member of the Republican Party, he was elected n 2010 to succeed Democrat Bill Halter. To win the second-ranking post in state government, he defeated another Democrat, state Senator and former House Speaker Shane Broadway by a margin of 51 to 49 percent.[1]

On February 1, 2014, under sanction for ethics violations involving illegal use of campaign funds, Darr resigned as lieutenant governor.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Darr was born in Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas. He is a graduate of Mansfield High School in Mansfield, Arkansas, and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Darr narrowly won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2010. He defeated subsequent State Representative Donnie Copeland of North Little Rock, 64,883 votes (51.9 percent) to 60,072 votes (48.1 percent).[3]

Darr was elected Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2010, the youngest Republican to date to win a statewide race in his state.[4] Prior to the election, he had never before run for public office.

On August 12, 2013, Darr announced his candidacy for Arkansas's 4th congressional district.[5] He ended his candidacy after questions were raised about campaign expenditures during his 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor.[6] On August 29, 2013, Darr ended his campaign for Congress.[7]

Scandal and resignation[edit]

In late November 2013, questions of ethics violations arose after Darr reportedly filed incorrect and misleading campaign financial disclosure statements.[8] Darr maintained his innocence but state Democrats and fellow Republicans threatened impeachment proceedings if Darr did not step down. An ethics commission accused Darr of breaking the Arkansas Code eleven times and using approximately $31,572.74 from his campaign funds for personal expenses. On December 30, 2013, he signed a letter stating he would pay the state's $11,000 Ethics Commission fine but maintained his mistakes were unintentional. Darr announced on January 10, 2014 that he would resign from his office effective February 1, 2014.[9]

Darr failed to officially notify Governor Mike Beebe, a Democrat, that he was resigning. Beebe was the only constitutional officer who could declare the office vacant. Darr did forward copies to Republican elected state officials. He did not immediately pay the $11,000 Ethics Commission fine but according to The Baxter Bulletin, local officials have said he will "pay soon".[10]

Personal life[edit]

Darr and his wife, Kim, have two children. He is a licensed insurance agent and also co-owns two restaurants in Rogers, Arkansas. The Darrs reside in Springdale, the state's fourth largest city. They are members of the megachurch (Southern Baptist) Cross Church[11] (formerly known as First Baptist Church of Springdale). They sing in the church choir.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "For incoming No. 2, politics new territory GOP's Darr eager to start state work". Arkansas Online. November 14, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "It was a bad week for Mark Darr again", arktimes.com; accessed September 26, 2014.
  3. ^ "Copeland, Donnie". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Darr profile". Arkansas Lieutenant Governors Office. 
  5. ^ "Mark Darr announces for 4th District Congress". Arkansas Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mark Darr Has A Problem With His CC&E Reports". Blue Hog Report. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Darr Canceling Congressional Bid". Talk Business. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mark Darr, Arkansas lt. gov., says he'll resign over ethics case". Politico. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "BREAKING: Lt. Governor Mark Darr Resigning". KNWA. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Darr will soon pay fine", baxterbulletin.com, August 26, 2014; accessed September 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Cross Church website; accessed September 26, 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Halter
Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Tim Griffin