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Huckabee To Replace Convicted Tucker As Arkansas Governor

July 15, 1996

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas will get a new governor from a different party when Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee takes over for Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, convicted in the Whitewater trial.

Tucker, 53, announced he would resign by today after he was convicted May 28 of fraud and conspiracy after a 13-week trial. The governor and James and Susan McDougal were accused of scheming in the mid-1980s to make illegal loans.

The governor, who has 2 1/2 years remaining on the four-year term he won in 1994, will be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on Aug. 19. He is appealing the convictions.

``It is terribly disappointing to me to leave prematurely the work to which I was elected _ to which you elected me _ and to which I have absolutely devoted myself for over five years,″ Tucker said in his farewell speech last week. ``I still think this is the best job in the world.″

Huckabee, 40, will become the first Republican governor since Frank White in 1982 when he is sworn in this afternoon in the House chamber.

He will work with a Democratic legislature, where Republicans have seven of 35 state Senate seats and 12 of the 100 House seats.

``We have certainly maintained that the circumstances surrounding my swearing in should not be a time for a gala celebration,″ Huckabee said last week. ``That is not to infer that we are not to even acknowledge to the people of our state that a change in administration is taking place.″

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