LITTLE ROCK — The top Democrat in Arkansas' House and the lawmaker who's pushed for removing the Confederate designation from the state's flag is stepping down from the Legislature.
Rep. Charles Blake said Thursday he's resigning from his seat representing a Little Rock district. Blake, who is the House minority leader, said his resignation will be effective Friday.
Blake said he's leaving for a new opportunity but declined to say what the new job will be. Blake has served in the House since January 2015.
Blake was the sponsor of legislation that would have changed the meaning of a star on Arkansas' flag that represents the Confederacy. A House panel twice rejected the bill, which would not have changed the design of Arkansas' flag.
"Minority Leader Charles Blake has made Arkansas better for all of us," state Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray said. "In his three terms, Blake took on the hardest fights and delivered, including the unthinkable like ensuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored alone on the calendar.
"When it came to tax relief, education, and criminal justice reform, Rep. Blake could be counted on to put Arkansas first."
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