Arkansas Politics Blog

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement President Joe Thompson (left) and Arkansas Insurance Department Commissioner Allen Kerr exchanging notes after speaking to a legislative committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Friday is the last day of open enrollment for signing up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare exchanges, or marketplaces

State officials are predicting more Arkansans to enroll this year than the last -despite efforts by the Trump administration to limit the enrollment period and to curtail outreach and advertisement about its existence.

The exchange has been open since November 1st and closes December 15th. Enrollees can choose between private insurance plans and determine eligibility for federal subsidies, made possible by the ACA.

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jared Henderson.
KUAR

A Democrat has announced intent to run for the governor’s office in 2018. Jared Henderson was the executive director of Teach for America’s Arkansas division from 2013 to 2017 and is centering his campaign in part on “making teachers one of the most important professions in the state.” The 39-year old Arkansas native declared Tuesday he’s seeking his party’s nomination.

The base of the 10 Commandments monument was installed earlier this month.
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

Proposed security features for the soon-to-be resurrected Ten Commandments monument on Arkansas’s state Capitol grounds have passed a first step. The monument was intentionally destroyed in June, within 24-hours of being erected, when a mentally ill man drove his car through it.

Gwen Combs at the Women's March for Arkansas in January 2017.
Combs Campaign.

Democrat Gwendolynn Combs marked her entrance into the 2nd Congressional District race on Monday night with a campaign launch event in downtown Little Rock. Combs’s presence means a Democratic primary between her and Paul Spencer. The winner will face Republican incumbent French Hill who is seeking a third-term in the U.S. House.

KUAR spoke with Spencer earlier this year at the time he announced his intent to run.

File photo: US Sen. Tom Cotton touring military vehicle prototypes in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The New York Times reports today on a White House plan to replace U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. It's reported that President Trump wants Arkansas U.S. Senator Tom Cotton to replace Pompeo as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Recently released FBI data shows Black Friday gun sales set a single-day record for background checks at just over 203,000. And a number of Arkansas stores are claiming strong sales through the holiday weekend and Cyber Monday as well.

Rusty Fisher with Sunrise Outfitters in Searcy says his shop was no exception.

Rex Nelson
Jacob Slaton / Clinton School of Public Service

The University of Arkansas’s long-time Athletic Director Jeff Long has been sent packing and the program is being forced to re-organize late in the football season. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talks about what’s next for UA athletics with Arkansas cultural connoisseur and long-time football announcer Rex Nelson.

He expects a new athletic director to be hired before the Razorbacks football season is over and for head coach Bret Bielema’s job to be on the chopping block not long after.

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.

Jacob Scott Goodwin
Lonoke County Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas man charged in the beating of a black man at the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville has been extradited from Lonoke County jail to Virginia. 22-year old Jacob Scott Goodwin of Ward is charged with maliciously wounding DeAndre Harris along with two other men in a parking garage. Harris himself was also charged with assault.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley says they’ve been holding Goodwin since October 10th.

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

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is now in charge of the Republican Attorneys General Association's campaign efforts. Rutledge says Democratic gains in Virginia and elsewhere earlier this month don't spell trouble for the 30 Republican attorneys general candidates RAGA plans to back in 2018.

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