Bill to elect lieutenant governor, secretary of state advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to popularly elect the state's lieutenant governor and secretary of state on the same ticket as the governor is headed for a full Senate vote.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee on Tuesday advanced the measure on a 5-4 vote.

The proposal to change the state constitution is sponsored by Sen. Rosalind Kurita, a Clarksville Democrat. But so far it has found no support among other Democrats, who have uniformly voted against the measure in committees.

Democrats tried to strip the secretary of state from the measure on Tuesday, but that proposal failed along partisan lines.

The proposal would have to pass both chambers this year, and then again by a two-thirds vote in the next two-year General Assembly before it could go before voters in the 2010 election.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)