Election filings come to a close | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Election filings come to a close

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 2:18 PM

click to enlarge BE STILL YOUR HEARTS: Former Rep. Nate Bell's appearance at the Capitol today (lefrt) was not an indication he was filing for office again.  He and Rep. Michael John Gray, the Democratic Party chair, shared a last-day moment. - BLAKE EDDINS/TWITTER
  • Blake Eddins/Twitter
  • BE STILL YOUR HEARTS: Former Rep. Nate Bell's appearance at the Capitol today (lefrt) was not an indication he was filing for office again. He and Rep. Michael John Gray, the Democratic Party chair, shared a last-day moment.
Filing for Arkansas political office ended today and the last day of filing produced only small surprises.

One of them:

Republican Sen. David Sanders did not file for re-election. In his place came two Republicans, Mark Johnson of Ferndale (son of the late Justice Jim Johnson) and Dean Elliott of Maumelle, a lobbyist for Dillard's (he'll continue that work, but only in other states) and a former state representative. Elliott had not planned the race, but entered after learning of Sanders' 11th-hour decision not to seek re-election.

No statewide officer will go unchallenged. Auditor Andrea Lea drew a Libertarian opponent only, David Dinwiddie. A Libertarian, Ashley Ewald, also was the only opponent against Treasurer Dennis Milligan.

Leticia Sanders of North Little Rock joined Jared Henderson as a Democratic candidate for governor against incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson. There's a Libertarian in that race, too, Mark West, and Republican Jan Morgan.

The Democratic Party fielded 90 candidates last I heard. That compares with 46, including presidential candidates, at the close of filing in 2016, a party spokesman said. That isn’t likely enough challenges to retake either house barring tsunami results,  but several challengers have shown signs of vigor in several currently GOP districts. Republicans also are challenging in seats currently held by Democrats. A gain for Dems would be a win

In nonpartisan judicial races, there's a circuit court race in Conway — Susan Weaver versus Andrea Woods — and a three-way race in which Supreme Justice Courtney Goodson faces challengers in Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson and David Sterling, a government lawyer.

You can see the full list of all candidates here. (After clicking this link, you must then click "candidate information." At that point, scroll down the page and asks for all candidates, sorted either by name, position or party.)

Meanwhile, filing closed in Pulaski County and County Judge Barry Hyde drew no opposition. Carl Minden, a current deputy, and Eric Higgins, a retired assistant Little Rock police chief, will face off to succeed retiring Sheriff Doc Holladay. Four incumbent JPs have drawn opponents — Doug Reed, Julie Blackwood, R. Green and Staci Medlock.

Three candidates have filed to succeed Clerk Larry Crane — his son Christopher Crane and Terri Hollingsworth, both Democrats, and Republican Steve Walden

CORRECTION: I wrote originally that Dems were up in numbers but not enough to flip control of a chamber even with sweep. Wrong. They are contesting more than 50 House seats, 57 I was told.

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