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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: Bill Halter speaks to supporters after being defeated by Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic Senate runoff election Tuesday night at his election watch party at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

— Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter plans to run for governor, officials said Friday

A spokesman for Halter said in a statement Friday that the Democrat will file paperwork next week to create a campaign committee, a "necessary first administrative step towards a campaign for governor in 2014."

News of Halter's decision to enter the race came shortly before an expected announcement from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that he is exiting it after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with an attorney.

“Over the holidays my family and I talked about the demands a campaign for governor would place on us,” Halter said in the statement. “We decided as a family that we are up for the challenge. That’s why next week I will take the first necessary step towards running for governor in 2014.

“During my campaign for governor I will put forward my plans and ideas to move Arkansas towards an even brighter future."

A formal announcement is planned later.

Democratic Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter also said Friday he's considering a run.

"I've made a decision in that race, but now is not the time to discuss that," he said Friday. "At some point in time, I'll make that announcement with my wife and my children."

Halter, elected lieutenant governor in 2007, is credited with being an influential supporter of Arkansas's push to create a statewide scholarship lottery. He made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing in a primary runoff to incumbent Blanche Lincoln. Lincoln would go on to be defeated by then-Rep. John Boozman, a Republican.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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  • PenLR
    January 25, 2013 at 1:12 p.m.

    I would rather have a cheater with ethical issues than this bought-and-paid-for jerk. Luck for Arkansas, we have other options.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.

    At least I know Mcdaniels issues (morality) Halter has yet to surface with his, but it's there you can bet on it.

  • outinthesticks
    January 25, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.

    Tweedle dum, Tweedle dee.....all the same to me.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.

    Man, if this is the best AR has to offer, we are in real trouble!!

  • nolan1
    January 25, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.

    Geeze, surely the Democrats could have done better. Get ready folks, if this guy is elected Governor we will be a casino state for certain, and no telling how much money will go under the tables!

    Apparently there is another shoe to drop on McDaniel...he said in his news conference last week there was "not another shoe to drop..." Yet, now he is pulling out of the race. Just has to be and sure it will sooner or later drop. Otherwise, McDaniel should have stayed in...geeze if Arkansas and America can forgive Clinton, what heck was McDaniel worried, look for that other shoe...and Mr. McDaniel, please if there is no other shoe, stay in the race!

  • Populist
    January 25, 2013 at 1:55 p.m.

    Thank God. Bill Halter is exactly the type of person we need as Governor. He understands money and how to manage it. He has a Stanford MBA and is on the Board of Stanford and a few corporations because of his business savvy. If anybody can cut through the state bureaucracy of outdated institutions and put the money where it will work better for us, it is Bill. I don't care if he has rubbed some people the wrong way. Too often, we elect people because they are charming. Bill is a Bloomberg or Jerry Brown type who may ruffle some feathers, but the state will be more prudently managed under Halter.

    He's not a ladies man. There are no skirts hiding in his closet.

  • RBBrittain
    January 25, 2013 at 2 p.m.

    Halter was McDaniel's "other shoe". Halter is too well organized in rural Arkansas (the only reason he even had a chance against Blanche Lincoln), and his one vice (the lottery) is a badge of honor; he was in a position to attack McDaniel ruthlessly over his indiscretions (especially if there was fire behind the murder case, though I doubt it). An extended primary battle between Halter & McDaniel would have left the survivor too weak to counter the GOP nominee, just like Lincoln in 2010.

  • djigoo
    January 25, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.

    Bill and I were in the same class at Catholic High. He's brilliant, but I'm afraid he doesn't have the charisma necessary to get very far in politics.

  • outinthesticks
    January 25, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.

    POPULIST, does that mean he's a "man's man"? Just asking.

  • djigoo
    January 25, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

    Bill isn't gay, if that's the question.