|15th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas|
January 11, 2011 – February 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Bill Halter|
|Succeeded by||Tim Griffin|
July 3, 1973 |
Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Ouachita Baptist University|
Mark A. Darr (born July 3, 1973) is the former 15th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. A member of the Republican Party, he was elected to succeed Democrat Bill Halter in 2010, having defeated Democratic challenger State Senator and former House Speaker Shane Broadway by a margin of 51 to 49 percent.
Under sanction for ethics violations involving illegal use of campaign funds, Darr resigned as Lieutenant Governor on February 1, 2014.
Early life and career
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).
Darr was elected Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2010, the youngest Republican to date to win a statewide race in his state. Prior to the election, he had never before run for public office. On November 2, 2010, in the closest constitutional race, Darr defeated Democrat Shane Broadway for the seat vacated by Democrat Bill Halter.
On August 12, 2013, Darr announced his candidacy for Arkansas's 4th congressional district. He ended his candidacy after questions were raised about campaign expenditures during his 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor. On August 29, 2013, Darr ended his campaign for Congress.
Scandal and resignation
In late November 2013, questions of ethics violations arose after Darr reportedly filed incorrect and misleading campaign financial statements. 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 Arkansas Code 11 times and of 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.
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 has not yet paid the $11,000 Ethics Commission fine but according to The Baxter Bulletin, local officials have said he will "pay soon".
Darr and his wife Kim have two children. Darr is a licensed insurance agent and also co-owns two restaurants in Rogers, Arkansas. Kim Darr is an elementary school music teacher at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale, where they reside. They are members of megachurch (Southern Baptist) Cross Church (formerly known as First Baptist Church of Springdale) in Springdale and are active in the choir.
- "For incoming No. 2, politics new territory GOP's Darr eager to start state work". Arkansas Online. November 14, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
- "It was a bad week for Mark Darr again", arktimes.com; accessed September 26, 2014.
- "Copeland, Donnie". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
- "Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Darr profile". Arkansas Lieutenant Governors Office.
- "Mark Darr announces for 4th District Congress". Arkansas Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Mark Darr Has A Problem With His CC&E Reports". Blue Hog Report. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Darr Canceling Congressional Bid". Talk Business. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Mark Darr, Arkansas lt. gov., says he'll resign over ethics case". Politico. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "BREAKING: Lt. Governor Mark Darr Resigning". KNWA. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Darr will soon pay fine", baxterbulletin.com, August 26, 2014; accessed September 26, 2014.
- Cross Church website; accessed September 26, 2014.
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|Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas