Arkansas Elections

East Arkansas Democrats will have a primary election on their hands for the First District Congressional seat. Chintan Desai announced today he’s seeking the party’s nomination and to unseat Republican incumbent Rick Crawford in 2018.

In a campaign launch statement, Desai immediately points out that his roots are outside of Arkansas, “I wasn’t born or raised here, but I’ve been proud to call Arkansas home for the past seven years.” The California native is the son of Indian immigrants. Arkansas has never elected a person who isn’t white to Congress.

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’s Attorney General is the new chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The organization primarily focuses on raising election funds for Republican incumbents.

In addition to trying to fulfill the obligations of serving as this state’s attorney general, Leslie Rutledge has agreed to take on the task of leading a major national campaign fundraising organization. The Republican Attorneys General Association has raised $14 million so far this year to help elect Republicans as attorney general.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general's office has rejected language proposed for a 2018 ballot issue, saying the attempt to legalize marijuana is too ambiguous to make sense.

In a letter dated Friday but released Monday, the attorney general's office expressed concerns about a provision that allowed a grower to have 25 mature plants and 25 non-mature plants. If one of the 25 non-mature plants matures, giving a grower 26 mature plants, what should happen next?

Frank Scott, Jr.
frankscottjr.com

Banker Frank Scott, Jr. is considering entering the Little Rock mayoral race. The life-long Little Rock resident said on Tuesday he’s exploring a 2018 bid. His interest follows announcements by state Representative Warwick Sabin and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. 

Scott says facilitating economic development through infrastructure improvement is a top priority. The former State Highway Commissioner is in favor of one such project – the widening of Interstate 30 through downtown – that has met opposition in public comments to the regional transportation planning agency Metroplan.

Mike Nelson (far left) sports an eye patch during a town hall meeting.
Talk Business and Politics

One of two Democrats seeking the nomination to run for the U.S. House seat representing east Arkansas's 1st District is bowing out of the race due to an undisclosed pending legal issue. Mike Nelson, an Arkansas County farmer, had already been busy attending a range of forums and civic clubs. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an effort to make it easier to challenge proposed constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Legislature.

Justices on Thursday rejected an attorney's request to change court rules to allow challenges to be filed directly with the state Supreme Court over proposed amendments referred to voters by the Legislature. The proposal would have also required the same standard on ballot measures initiated by voters to be used on legislatively referred ones.

Susan Inman
AETN

A former state and local elections official says she's making another run for Arkansas secretary of state.

Susan Inman announced Tuesday she's seeking the Democratic nomination for the post, currently held by Republican Mark Martin. Martin was first elected to the post in 2010 and is barred from seeking re-election next year because of term limits.

An educator and activist says she's running for a U.S. House seat in central Arkansas, becoming the second Democrat to launch a bid to unseat the district's incumbent Republican congressman.

Gwendolynn Combs announced Monday she's filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the 2nd Congressional District.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' revived law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot will be put to the test as soon as it takes effect this week, with early voting beginning for five local sales tax elections.

Voters heading to the polls early in three cities and two counties Tuesday for special elections on sales tax measures will be required to show photo ID before casting a ballot, or sign a sworn statement confirming their identity under the law approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

Mark Martin
Arkansas Times

Arkansas has again submitted some of the information sought by a commission formed by President Donald Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said it had submitted the information Thursday afternoon to the panel after it renewed its request for publicly available information about the state's voters. The state had submitted identical information to the panel earlier this month, but the data was deleted as the commission held off on its requests from the states due to a legal challenge.

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