Arkansas Politics

More Arkansas Officials Switch To GOP During Filing Season

Nov 4, 2015

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday politically in Northeast Arkansas, as two longtime Democrats switched to the GOP and county races developed around the state.

Poinsett County Coroner Butch Davis of Harrisburg filed to run as a Republican as did Poinsett County Justice of the Peace Harold Blackwood of Tyronza. The two joined three others who announced their switch on Monday. Greene County Treasurer Debbie Cross, Poinsett County Treasurer Tammie Stanford and Poinsett County Justice of the Peace Carmack Sanders each filed Monday to run as Republicans during the 2016 election.

A Confederate flag merged with the flag of the League of the South flag.

Tens of thousands of Southerners rallied this year in defense of an identity they believe is under assault: a veneration of a Confederate heritage. It’s difficult to parcel through just who comprises this movement but some say extremists within it are finding a voice.

Mike Huckabee
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The candidate filing period for the 2016 elections got underway Monday at the state Captiol, with presidential races dominating attention.

The first person in line was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is making his second bid for president. He was greeted like an old friend by many in the Rotunda, before signing the necessary paperwork alongside his wife Janet. 

Afterward he told reporters that while other Republicans have been leading in national polls, that’s no indication of how things will be when the first caucuses are held in Iowa in February.

Conner Eldridge
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former federal prosecutor Conner Eldridge has made his bid to unseat Republican U.S. John Boozman official, saying he believes Arkansas voters are ready for new leadership in Washington.

Eldridge filed paperwork Monday at the state Capitol to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Boozman. Eldridge is the only Democrat who's announced he's running against Boozman, who is seeking a second term.

Eldridge told reporters after filing that he believed voters are frustrated with Washington and ready for a change.

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A former Arkansas treasurer convicted of bribery and extortion charges is scheduled to begin her 30-month federal prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes allowed former treasurer Martha Shoffner about 60 days from her August sentencing to get her affairs in order and report to Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, by Monday.

Arkansas’ two U.S. Senators voted against a bipartisan budget agreement that passed the Senate early Friday morning and now heads to the president’s desk. 

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed the Senate, 64-35. It passed the House earlier this week, 266-167. President Obama is expected to sign it.

It was a busy Wednesday in the nation’s capital as the House overwhelmingly approved a two-year budget blueprint for the nation, while the Senate passed a three-week extension to the nation’s highway bill.

The House voted late Wednesday 266-167 to approve HR 1314, an $80 billion funding bill that was supported by 79 Republicans and 187 Democrats while the bill was opposed by 167 Republicans.

Donald Trump will lose his zest for campaigning as it gets harder and drop out before Iowa, and Republicans eventually will nominate a presidential candidate who has previously held elective office, a senior strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign said Monday.

Ben Carson

The frontrunner in the Republican presidential field will pay a visit to Northeast Arkansas, just days before the presidential filing period begins in Little Rock. 

According to a post on his presidential website, Republican Dr. Ben Carson will be in West Memphis Friday afternoon (Oct. 30) for a campaign stop.

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas selected 23 candidates to run for office Saturday in a special nominating convention, including individuals to run for the five congressional races on next year’s ballot.

Frank Gilbert was nominated to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. Gilbert won 2% of the vote running for governor in 2014.