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What happens if Sen. Tom Cotton gets appointed to the CIA?

The New York Times and Washington Post reported last Thursday of possibly appointing AR-Senator Tom Cotton to CIA Director. The tentative plan calls for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to be ousted and replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with Cotton filling Pompeo's vacancy, the newspapers reported.

So what would happen to our Senate seat if this appointment does happen?

First, in order to serve, Cotton would need to be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, where Republicans hold 52 of 100 seats.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, would appoint a replacement to serve until the voters chose Cotton's successor in the next general election.

  • Under the U.S. Constitution, Hutchinson could select any Arkansas inhabitant 30 years of age or older who has been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years.

  • Under the Arkansas Constitution, the governor could appoint anyone except himself, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin or their relatives.

  • The appointee would serve until after "the next General Election, if the vacancy occurs four months or more prior thereto," according to the state constitution.

  • The 2018 election would decide who would complete the remaining two years of Cotton's term.

  • The Arkansas Constitution does not allow an appointee to run for the seat he is temporarily occupying, but he retains the post until Jan. 1 after the election.

Who could possibly replace Cotton in 2018?

  • The Democratic Party said there could potentially be a long line of interested candidates with many already suggesting interest.

  • Lt. Governor Griffin said he is focused on his current post, but did not rule it out and would consider the position prayerfully. (previously held two terms in Congress)

  • U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Rogers, is another potential

candidate if Cotton departs.

  • Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, French Hill of Little Rock and Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs declined to comment.

  • State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she remains focused on protecting Arkansans from "criminals, con artists and an overreaching federal government." - plans on running for re-election.

Read more stories like this at ArkansasOnline.

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