Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday appointed Larry Walther, the secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, to succeed the late Mark Lowery as state treasurer.
Lowery, a Republican elected treasurer last year, died last week following a pair of strokes.
Walther will serve until 2025, and Arkansans will elect a new treasurer next year to complete the remaining two years of Lowery’s four-year term.
“We need a steady hand and a savvy head for business to oversee our state’s investments, and Larry has both,” Sanders said.
Arkansas’ treasurer is the state’s banker, responsible for an investment portfolio of more than $9 billion. It is one of the state’s seven constitutional offices.
Chief of Staff Stephen Bright and Deputy Treasurer Eric Munson have been running the office in Lowery’s absence.
Walther’s career in government began in 2003 when then-Gov. Mike Huckabee tapped him to lead the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Huckabee is Sanders’ father.
In 2008, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Three years later, President Barack Obama appointed Walther to serve on the board for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
He returned to state government in 2015 when former Gov. Asa Hutchinson made him the head of the Department of Finance and Administration.
Walther said he has worked closely with the treasurer’s office as head of DFA.
“I made a commitment to the governor and I make the commitment to each of you today and the people of Arkansas to coordinate a smooth transition and to perform the duties of the office with integrity,” Walther said.
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