Arkansas Treasurer Mark Lowery leaving office in September after strokes

Arkansas Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, speaks at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Arkansas Treasurer Mark Lowery is leaving office in September after experiencing two strokes over the past several months, his office announced Tuesday.

Lowery, a Republican who took office in January, will retire Sept. 30. The state treasury will be run by the chief of staff and deputy treasurer until Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders appoints a replacement, his office said.

“Treasurer Lowery has been a dedicated public servant and has had a successful political and professional career that spans over 30 years. We are incredibly sad to see him retire, and his leadership will be missed.” Chief of Staff Stephen Bright said in a statement.

Lowery, 66, experienced two strokes, one in March and another in June. Following the first stroke, Lowery spent several weeks rehabilitating in Arkansas before recovering with his daughter in Maryland. Lowery’s office described the second stroke as more severe and said it led him and his family to decide to announce his retirement.

“It was the joy of his life traveling across Arkansas and building lasting relationships with constituents throughout the state,” Lowery’s family said in a statement. “Every moment of every day he lived his dream by serving others and fighting for Arkansans.”

The Arkansas treasurer oversees the state’s investments and serves on several panels including the boards of trustees for the state employees and teacher retirement systems.

Before being elected treasurer in November, Lowery had served 10 years in the state House.

Lowery sponsored a 2017 law that reinstated the state’s requirement that voters show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot. A previous voter ID law had been struck down by the state Supreme Court, but justices in 2018 upheld Lowery’s revision.

Lowery also sponsored a 2021 law that removed the ability of people without identification to cast a ballot, even if they sign an affidavit affirming their identity.