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Hot check artist unchallenged 

Roby Brock's Talk Business website reported this week that Rep. Josh Johnston had announced for re-election in District 65 and that the Rose Bud Republican had no Democratic opposition. The Blue Hog Report blog reported in April that Johnston had been arrested in 1995 on a felony hot check charge and eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid more than $700 in fines and costs.

He's refused to respond to the Times' questions about his eligibility in light of the record. A court removed another Republican candidate last year for a federal misdemeanor conviction involving misuse of Medicaid money. A Republican prosecutor in Conway announced this week that he'd seek to remove a Republican sheriff in Searcy County because of a 30-year-old misdemeanor related to possession of some stolen Cornish hens from a truck shipment. Another candidate was ruled ineligible because of theft of campaign signs. The Arkansas Republican Party has so far declined to answer questions from the Times about Johnston's eligibility.

We can report that sources say Johnston is expected to have a Democratic opponent with experience in elective office and that Johnston's record isn't likely to be swept under the rug.

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