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Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 11:43 a.m.

2014 Candidates

Click on a race below to learn more about the current candidates.
Candidates for contested city and county offices can be found HERE.


Tom Cotton


First-term U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton was born and raised on a cattle farm in Yell County. Shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School, Cotton served for five years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His honors include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab. Following his active-duty service, Cotton worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. He and his wife, Anna, have no children.

Nathan LaFrance


Bella Vista resident Nathan LaFrance is a senior manager of energy strategy at Wal-Mart in Bentonville. He says he has "expertise in financial and commodities markets, economics and economic policy," as well as energy and environmental policies, according to his profile on the Libertarian Party of Arkansas' website. While he has no formal political background — this is his first campaign — LaFrance says that he "has studied politics for years and is well prepared to take on the challenges of office." He is married with six children.

Mark Pryor*


U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Fayetteville has served in his current role since 2003. Before he was elected to Senate, Pryor earned a bachelor's degree in history and a law degree from the University of Arkansas, and spent more than 10 years in private legal practice. He served as a state representative from 1990-1998 and was Arkansas' attorney general from 1998-2002. Pryor is a member of six Senate committees. He is chairman of the subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet as well as the subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations. He is divorced and has two children.

Mark Swaney


Mechanical engineer Mark Swaney of Huntsville works at the University of Arkansas managing commercial patents on inventions that come from the university's research. Born in Florida, Swaney moved to Arkansas in 1975. He has a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arkansas, where his two adult children also attended college. Swaney has been a member of the Green Party since 2000, and in 2006 he received an Arkansas Peace and Justice Heroes Award from the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology.


Rick Crawford*


Rick Crawford has represented Arkansas' 1st Congressional District since 2011. After four years of service in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of sergeant in three years, Crawford attended and graduated in 1996 from Arkansas State University with a bachelor's degree in agriculture business and economics. He's a member of the 4-H Foundation Board of Arkansas and serves on the Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees in Washington. Crawford and his wife, Stacy, have two children and live in Jonesboro.

Jackie McPherson


Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson, 55, has served in his current role since 2006 and was a member of the City Council for 12 years before that. McPherson, who cites the lack of bipartisanship in Congress as one of his reasons for running, calls himself a "conservative Democrat" and has said he would work with Democrats and Republicans in Washington if elected. He unsuccessfully ran for a state House seat in 2000, losing in a primary election to Democrat Bill Stovall. McPherson has owned McPherson Family Restaurant in Heber Springs for 24 years and is a former school board member and volunteer fireman. He and his wife, Vicki, have three children.

Brian "Scotty" Willhite


Arkansas native Brian "Scotty" Willhite has been a teacher at Des Arc Public Schools for the past five years and taught at White County Alternative Learning Environment before that. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1997 and served as an Avionics Technicians for four years until he was honorably discharged in 2001. He received his bachelor of arts in English from Harding University. He and his wife, Sallie, have four children.


Patrick Henry Hays


North Little Rock native and six-term former Mayor Patrick Henry Hays was the longest-serving mayor in the city's history. A graduate of North Little Rock High School and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Hays has also earned the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was an assistant city attorney for North Little Rock before he was elected as the Arkansas secretary of state's chief legal counsel, and he served as a state representative in the 76th General Assembly before he became mayor. Hays and his wife, Linda, have one daughter and three grandchildren.

French Hill


Delta Trust & Banking Corp. founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer French Hill is a ninth-generation Arkansan, an active member of several Little Rock boards and a trustee of the George W. Donaghey Foundation. A graduate of Catholic High School for Boys and Vanderbilt University, Hill went on to serve as a senior economic policy adviser and deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. He was also a senior legislative aide on the U.S. Senate committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs from 1982-84. He and his wife, Martha, live in Little Rock and have two children.

Debbie Standiford


Hot Springs native and North Little Rock resident Debbie Standiford is a co-founder of the Pulaski County Libertarian Party, for which she has been a chairman for two and a half years. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Standiford now works from home as a mother and graphic artist for her business, dooDLStudio. She has volunteered with the National Libertarian Party since 2010 and with the Arkansas Libertarian Party since 2011. She also ran for state representative in District 38 in 2012. Standiford is married with two children.


Grant Brand


Pea Ridge resident Grant Brand, 33, works as a warehouse supervisor for a nonprofit food bank. In a March 8 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article, Brand said he wants "to work toward fixing things" in Washington and plans to run a "zero dollar campaign." It's the first political campaign for Brand, who joined the Libertarian Party in the summer of 2013. He has 2 daughters.

Steve Womack*


Russellville native Steve Womack has represented the 3rd Congressional District since 2011. A 1979 graduate of Arkansas Tech University, Womack served in the Arkansas National Guard for more than 30 years before retiring as a colonel in 2009. In that time, Womack worked as a radio station manager, an executive officer for the University of Arkansas' ROTC program and a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch before he was elected as mayor of Rogers in 1998. As representative, Womack serves on multiple committees and caucuses in the U.S. House. He has been married to his wife, Terri, for 28 years, and they have three adult sons and two grandsons.


Ken Hamilton


Ken Hamilton, born and raised in Sinton, Texas, has been a resident of El Dorado since 1978 and has worked there for Murphy Oil Corp. since graduating from Harding University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1980 and currently serves as the 4th District representative on the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas. He has been married for 20 years to his wife, Jo Lynn. They have no children.

Janis Percefull


Janis Percefull, a Hot Springs native, has served as a historian, author, teacher and businesswoman. She currently teaches at National Park Community College and is director of the Ouachita Springs Region Historical Research Center. Percefull is not married and does not have any children.

Bruce Westerman


Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs, a lifelong resident of Garland County, has represented District 22 since 2010 and is currently the House majority leader. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas and a master's degree in forestry from Yale University. A member of the Arkansas Legislative Council, Westerman has served on the Revenue and Taxation Committee and the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee during the 89th General Assembly. Westerman also works as an engineer and forester with the Mid-South Engineering Co. Westerman and his wife, Sharon, have four children.

James Lee Witt


James Lee Witt of Dardanelle served as a Yell County judge from 1978-1988, then as the director of the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services from 1988-1993. Witt was tapped as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Bill Clinton. Witt was married Lea Ellen Hodges Witt for 51 years before her death in September. He has two adult sons and three grandchildren.


Joshua Drake


J. Joshua Drake of Hot Springs has served on the Executive Committee for the Green Party of Arkansas since 2000. Originally from Smithville, Tenn., Drake studied international studies and political science at Rhodes College in Memphis before earning a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Georgia in 1994. He worked for the Center of Arkansas Legal Services until 2002, when he became a legal partner at Garnett, Naramore and Drake, P.A. Since 2010, he has been a practicing attorney for Drake and Street, P.A., Attorneys at Law, of which he is the founder. He has three children.

Frank Gilbert


Frank Gilbert, constable of Dekalb Township in Grant County since January 2013 and minister at Universal Life Church, has served in several roles throughout his life — political and otherwise. After graduating from Van Buren High School in 1968, Gilbert was a Journalist Second Class in the U.S. Navy until 1972. He attended Ouachita Baptist University before beginning his 20-year career with alarm company Guard Tronic. Gilbert also has served two terms as the mayor of Tull, two years as a coroner for Grant County and was once president of the Bauxite Education Association.

Asa Hutchinson


Asa Hutchinson was raised on a farm near Gravette. He received his law degree from the University of Arkansas Law School and practiced in Bentonville before he was selected in 1981 as the youngest U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. He was a state Republican Party chairman in the early 1990s before he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996, a role he kept until 2001, when President George W. Bush appointed him as director of the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2003, he was selected as the first undersecretary for border and transportation security at the Department of Homeland Security. He and his wife, Susan, have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Mike Ross


Raised in Prescott, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross now lives in Little Rock. He attended high school in Hope and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He served in the Nevada County Quorum Court from 1983-85 and was chief of staff to former Lt. Gov. Winston Bryant from 1985-89. In 1990, Ross was elected as as the youngest state senator at the time and served in that role until 2000, when he was elected to the U.S. House and served there until 2012. He and his wife, Holly, have two grown children.


John Burkhalter


A native of Sylvan Hills, businessman John Burkhalter is a former chairman of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and a past member of the Arkansas Highway Commission. He attended Hendrix College for two years before earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas. Burkhalter and his wife, Penny, have 10- and 13-year-old daughters and live in Little Rock.

Tim Griffin


A former aide to President George W. Bush, Griffin served as an interim U.S. attorney and a former research director for the National Republican Committee. He was elected to the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2010 and reelected in 2012 before opting not to seek a third term. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife and their two children.

Christopher Olson


Arkansas native Christopher Olson is a mental health paraprofessional who helps adults with severe mental illnesses become more independent. He graduated from Greenbrier High School in 1995, when he also joined the Libertarian Party, and holds a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science in education degree from the University of Central Arkansas. Olson was also an intern for U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder in Washington, D.C. in 1997. He and his wife, Letitia, have three children.


Attorney General

• Aaron Cash, Libertarian

• Nate Steel, Democrat

• Leslie Rutledge


• Karen Sealy Garcia, Democrat

• Chris Hayes, Libertarian

• Dennis Milligan, Republican

Secretary of State

• Jacob Holloway, Libertarian

• Susan Inman, Democrat

• Mark Martin, Republican*


• Regina Stewart Hampton, Democrat

• Andrea Lea, Republican

• Brian Leach, Libertarian

State Commissioner of Lands

• Elvis D. Presley, Libertarian

• Mark A. Robertson, Democrat

• John Thurston, Republican*


District 14

George Pritchett Independent

* Bill Sample Republican

District 19

Linda Collins-Smith Republican

James McLean Democratic

District 20

* Robert Thompson Democratic

Blake Johnson Republican

District 35

* Jason Rapert Republican

Joel "Tyler" Pearson Democratic


District 4

* Fonda Hawthorne Democratic

DeAnn Vaught Republican

District 9

* Charlie Collins Republican

Candy Clark Democratic

District 10

Patricia Ferrell Mays Republican

* Mike Holcomb Democratic

District 14

Camille Bennett Democratic

Buddy Fisher Republican

District 15

* Ken Bragg Republican

Wayne Willems Libertarian

District 18

* Richard Womack Republican

Damon Daniels Democratic

District 19

Justin Gonzales Republican

Jeremy Ross Democratic

District 20

Marc Rosson Libertarian

* Nate Bell Republican

Chase A. Busch Democratic

District 26

Laurie Rushing Republican

* David Kizzia Democratic

District 31

Greg Deckelman Libertarian

Clea Hupp Democratic

* Andy Davis Republican

District 32

John Adams Democratic

Jim Sorvillo Republican

District 35

Stacy Hurst Republican

Clarke Tucker Democratic

District 38

* Patti Julian Democratic

Donnie Copeland Republican

District 41

Karilyn Brown Republican

Danny Knight Democratic

District 51

Rodger Paxton Libertarian

* Deborah Ferguson Democratic

District 52

Radius H. Baker Democratic

Dwight Tosh Republican

District 53

* Homer Lenderman Democratic

Dan Sullivan Republican

District 54

* Wes Wagner Democratic

Dave Wallace Republican

District 57

Ronnie C. Spence Republican

* Mary Broadaway Democratic

District 58

* Harold Copenhaver Democratic

Brandt Smith Republican

District 59

Ron Carroll Democratic

Jack Ladyman Republican

District 60

* James Ratliff Democratic

Blaine Davis Republican

District 61

* Scott Baltz Democratic

Doug Driesel Republican

District 62

* Tommy Wren Democratic

Michelle Gray Republican

District 63

Lackey Moody Democratic

James Sturch Republican

District 65

Tommy Thompson Democratic

Rick Beck Republican

District 68

Trevor Drown Republican

Tachany Evans Democratic

District 70

Frank Shaw Democratic

* David Meeks Republican

District 72

* Steve Magie Democratic

Shannon L. Taylor Republican

District 73

Mary Bentley Republican

* Wayne Catlett Democratic

District 80

Taylor Watkins Libertarian

* Charlene Fite Republican

District 84

* Charlie Collins Republican

Candy Clark Democratic

District 93

Leah Marie Williams Democratic

* Jim Dotson Republican

District 94

Rebecca Petty Republican

Grimsley Graham Democratic

District 95

* Sue Scott Republican

Eddie Moser Libertarian

District 96

Tom McClure Democratic

Michael J Kalagias Libertarian

Grant Hodges Republican

District 97

Charles "Sonny" Carter Democratic

* Bob Ballinger Republican

District 100

Willa Mae Tilley Democratic

Nelda Speaks Republican


Issue No. 1:

A constitutional amendment required legislative committee approval of rules promulgated by state agencies.

Issue No. 2:

A constitutional amendment to allow more time to gather signatures on statewide initiative or referendum petitions if the proposal originally had 75 percent of the valid signatures required.

Issue No. 3:

A constitutional amendment on campaign contributions, lobbyist gifts, state official salaries and term limits.

Issue No. 4:

A constitutional amendment allowing alcoholic beverage sales across the state.

Issue No. 5:

An act to increase the minimum wage.


District 18-East

Division 2


Wade Naramore (NP)

Cecilia Dyer (NP)


* Asterisks denote the incumbent.


CLICK HERE to see all candidate filings for 2014.

Official website of the Democratic Party of Arkansas

Official website of the Green Party of Arkansas

Official website of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas (Photos of Libertarian Party candidates courtesy of

Official website of the Republican Party of Arkansas


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