A subcommittee of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery voted Wednesday to approve the hiring of an analyst for the Bureau of Legislative Research as its executive assistant for public and legislative relations.
Patrick Ralston would be paid $88,957 if the full commission endorses the hire later this month and if he accepts the offer.
Ralston was one of 11 applicants from a pool of more than 300 who were interviewed for the position, which has been empty since former lottery spokesman Julie Baldridge retired in April 2013. Baldridge, who served as interim director of the agency, is now a commissioner and serves on the personnel committee that voted unanimously in favor of Ralston's hiring Wednesday.
Lottery Director Bishop Woosley recommended Ralston because of his legislative experience, which includes staffing lottery commission Legislative Oversight Committee meetings as an analyst. He has also served as the deputy director of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.
Woosley called Ralston a "good fit" who will have a "very small" learning curve.
"He will come in hitting the ground running," Woosley said. "That's one of the things that made him an attractive candidate for sure."
The full lottery committee is expected to vote on Ralston's hiring at its June 25 meeting.