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story.lead_photo.caption State Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Rogers, announces her candidacy for lieutenant governor in a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the state Capitol. - Photo by David Harten

State Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Rogers, is changing her plans for the upcoming election — she's now seeking the position of lieutenant governor instead of governor.

Hobbs, 58, made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon inside the Old Supreme Courtroom at the state Capitol. She will try for the now-vacant role left open by Mark Darr, who officially resigned Feb. 1 after it was discovered he misspent about $41,000 in public funds.

“I recently came to the awareness that I do not have to hold the top position of the state to affect change,” Hobbs said in a statement. “The recognition leads me to alter my plans from seeking the office of governor to pursuing the office of lieutenant governor.”

In a June announcement, Hobbs originally said she had planned to run for governor. 

Hobbs said she made the decision to switch her attention to the lieutenant governor's race on Saturday, adding that she may not have decided to enter the race had it not been for her "journey" in her nine-month bid for the governor's seat.

“I want to serve as lieutenant governor because I care. I care about your future. I care about the future of Arkansas,” Hobbs said in a statement Wednesday.

State Reps. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, and Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, have already announced they will also be vying for the lieutenant governor position in this year’s election. U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, also a Republican, is reportedly considering a run for the seat as well.

John Burkhalter, the former head of the Arkansas State Highway Commission, is the lone Democratic candidate to announce a bid for the seat so far.

Hobbs is currently in her third term as a state representative, winning the District 96 seat while running unopposed in 2008, and then taking on the seat of District 94 in January 2013. 

Read more about this story in tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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