Ready or not, the 2014 election cycle is already whirling around Faulkner County, with rumors of who’s running for what already in full spin.
Will Democrat Linda Tyler run against U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin – or against Senator Jason Rapert? What about the Governor’s race?
Will Conway Mayor Tab Townsell leave office to run against Griffin?
Here’s facts known, as well as what’s swirling around, for the U.S. Senate and House races, as well as races state-wide:
U.S. SENATE / HOUSE
Democrat Mark Pryor will run again for U.S. Senate. This race is attracting all sorts of rumors and potential candidates, including former state Democrat Representative Bobby Tullis and Republicans U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton and Lt. Governor Mark Darr.
Republican Tim Griffin will run again for U.S. Representative for District 2 (includes Faulkner County). This is another very interesting race to watch, as potentials include current Conway Mayor Tab Townsell, State Senator John Edwards, and former Representative Linda Tyler.
It’s said that Linda Tyler is also looking hard at running again against Senator Jason Rapert.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tab Townsell, who made an unexpected announcement that he “may not finish” his current term in Conway, is said to also be very interested in running against Griffin – or against Rapert. Hmnn, musical chairs?
Declared Republicans are NLR businessman Curtis Coleman, Rep. Debra Hobbs, and Asa Hutchinson, former U.S. Representative and 2006 gubernatorial nominee
Declared Democrats are former Lt. Governor Bill Halter and Mike Ross, former U.S. Representative.
Potential GOP nominees include House Speaker Davy Carter, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, Senator Missy Irvin, former Senator Jim Keet, Secretary of State Mark Martin, and former 2-time gubernatorial nominee Sheffield Nelson
Former NLR Mayor Patrick Henry Hayes is rumoured as a potential Democrat nominee.
So far, turning down the idea are U.S. Representatives Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack; Lt. Governor Mark Darr; and Senators Keith Ingram and Johnny Key, so you can rule these folks out.
Of course, Democrat potential Dustin McDaniel withdrew after a public sex scandal with a woman who was the opposing attorney in the state’s School Choice case that McDaniel and his office had defended.
We’ve not heard yet of any Republicans who’ve declared, but we hear that Rep. Charlie Collins may be interested.
Republican Lt. Governor Mark Darr hasn’t said whether he’s running again, but may also still be considering a run for the 4th District Congressional seat.
Declared Democrats include Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter and Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Republican Mark Martin will run again. The only declared Democrat (at this time) is Susan Inman, state Election Commission chair and former state Election Division Director.
Declared Republicans so far are attorney and former Mike Huckabee aide Leslie Rutledge and NLR attorney David Sterling. Former Rep. Marvin Childers is a potential on the GOP side.
No Democrats have yet declared and incumbent Dustin McDaniel is “retiring” in 2014.
Democrat potentials include attorney Nate Coulter, Senator David Johnson and former state Rep. Chris Thomason.
Only 2 Republicans have declared so far: Rep. Andrea Lea and state / national GOP activist Ken Yang.
GOP potentials include businessman and former Congressional candidate Glen Gallas, former Reps Ted Mullenix and Doug Matayo and former Congressional candidate Beth Anne Rankin.
On the Democrat side, potentials include former LR City Director Barbara Graves, former Reps Mike Hathorn and Leslee Milam Post, former Senator Janet Keeton Johnson.
Dennis Milligan, Saline County Circuit Clerk / former GOP state chair, is the only declared candidate, but a GOP potential is Rep. Duncan Baird.
Democrat potentials include former Rep. Mike Creekmore and retired Chief Deputy State Treasurer Karla Shepard.
Republican John Thurston is running again. The only declared Democrat so far is Rep. Butch Wilkins, although Rep. Clark Hall is a potential.