Asa Hutchinson Will Replace Heath Abshure at Securities Department

Asa Hutchinson Will Replace Heath Abshure at Securities Department
Heath Abshure

Arkansas Securities Commissioner Heath Abshure said Tuesday that he will be replaced by Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson.

Abshure said he received a call from Michael Lamoureux, Hutchinson's chief of staff, on Monday and was told that a new commissioner would be appointed. 

Hutchinson spokesman J.R. Davis said the transition team was not yet releasing specifics on who might be appointed to the position. He said he was not sure when the appointment would be announced.

An appointment of Gov. Mike Beebe, Abshure has led the securities department since December 2007. His term has been occasionally marked by heated exchanges with the Legislature and complaints from the business community he regulated.

In an interview Tuesday, Abshure said it's too early to say what his plans are after a new commissioner is appointed.

"I’m considering a couple of different options at this point. Change is good sometimes. And so I’m excited by the opportunities that are out there. I’m certainly not pursuing any one exclusively," Abshure said.

He said he didn't expect things would change too much at the department under a new commissioner.

"I think what we tried to do during my term was strike the appropriate balance between capital formation and investor protection, and I think that’s what all good securities regulators try to do," he said. "I think that we kind of walked an appropriate line. I would envision that continuing."

Abshure is one of several agency directors who will be replaced by the incoming governor. Hutchinson has already says he plans to replace Grant Tennille, the director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Richard Weiss, the state’s chief fiscal officer, has said he plans to retire when Beebe leaves office.

Hutchinson has not yet announced a replacement for those jobs.

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