So I put a ticket in, waited for a while, and they hooked me up. Their reply message said something along the lines of the former guild leader being inactive for over 33 days (at least that's what I think it was), and my character was promoted.
Would be nice now if there was a last-login date stamp on each character in the guild window so we could keep the roster fresh *hint, hint* Guild Wars 1 was really good at that and it worked phenomenally well.
there is one. you just have to change it to that option on the far right column on one of the windows. it will reset each time though to the guild rank when you log.
also i too finally got control over my old dead guild. thank you bioware.