With John Kerry now officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for President, Iowa legal experts are speculating about the future of Iowa’s top Democrat. If Kerry wins in November, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack could be in line for a cabinet post. With Vilsack leaving the state, Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson would become Governor. Deputy Attorney general Julie Pottorff says it’s not clear then who would fill Pederson’s position.She says article four section ten of the Iowa Constitution says the Governor can fill a vacancy when there’s no vote provided by constitution or statute for filling a vacancy. She says they haven’t researched it yet to see if there’s some process for filling the seat of Lieutenant Governor. If not, she says Pederson could appoint someone. Pottorff says the A-G’s office won’t research the issue until they have concrete information that Governor Vilsack is resigning to leave for Washington, D-C. Right now she says it’s just something to talk about.She says one of the complicating factors is the fairly recent amendment that has the Governor and Lieutenant Governor run as a team and you cast one vote for both. Up until 1980, Iowa’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor were elected independently. It wasn’t unusual then for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to come from different parties.
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