Arkansas Opens Filing Period for 2014 Election

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 4:33 pm  

Coleman said he felt good about his chances for the GOP nomination, though he has struggled in fundraising against Hutchinson.

Former Congressman Mike Ross is the only announced Democratic candidate.

"We're going to beat (Hutchinson) with hard work and a ground team and the best message in Arkansas," said Coleman, the founder of a North Little Rock food safety company.

Republicans have made major gains in Arkansas over the past two elections. The GOP now controls both chambers of the Legislature, all four U.S. House seats, one U.S. Senate seat and two of the constitutional offices.

The two candidates that Democrats are relying on to win back congressional seats were also among the first to file. Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt filed to run for the 4th District seat held by Cotton, while former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays put in for the 2nd Congressional District.

"We're looking forward to talking to folks and doing the things you've got to do to put together a successful campaign," Hays said

House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, one of two Republicans running for the 4th District, filed Monday. State Rep. Ann Clemmer and Little Rock banking executive French Hill filed paperwork to seek the GOP nomination for the 2nd District.

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who currently represents the 2nd District, and state Rep. Andy Mayberry filed Monday to run for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Republican U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford and Steve Womack also filed to run for re-election.

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