After 28 Years in Elected Office, Charlie Daniels Won't Seek Re-Election

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, May. 6, 2013 10:52 am  

Charlie Daniels

State Auditor Charlie Daniels, who has held elected office in Arkansas since 1985, said Monday that he will not seek re-election when his term expires in 2014.

Daniels, a Democrat from Bryant, was elected auditor in 2010 and is serving in his first term. He is eligible for a second four-year term, but the 73-year-old says he is ready to retire. 

"After a good deal of consideration and discussion with my family and staff, I have decided not to seek re-election as auditor of state next year," Daniels said in a news release. "I am grateful to the voters of the state of Arkansas for giving me the opportunity to serve for all these years, first as commissioner of state lands, then as secretary of state, and now as auditor."

Daniels said his first role in public service came in 1972 when he was elected to the school board in his home town of Parker’s Chapel, near El Dorado. Later, Gov. David Pryor appointed him director of the Arkansas Department of Labor, where he remained under Gov. Bill Clinton.

In 1984, Daniels sought the Democratic nomination for state land commissioner, beating five other candidates and winning the primary run-off with 54 percent of the vote. He went on to be land commissioner for 18 years.

In 2002, he ran successfully against then-First Lady Janet Huckabee for secretary of state. He served as secretary of state for two four-year terms. He ran for state auditor in 2010.

Daniels said he's witnessed an "enormous evolution in technology" during his time in elected office.

"When we first started in the land office, we didn’t even have computers," he said. "All of our work was done manually. Today, we offer a way for people to claim their missing money on a mobile phone. Almost everything we do today is electronic. People expect to do business online, and it’s been my goal to meet those expectations."



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