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A Jonesboro physician announced plans Wednesday to enter the Republican primary against state Rep. Dan Sullivan in House District 53.

Dr. Cole Peck said in a news release that he is a “common-sense conservative” who will focus on taxes, deregulation and proposing “state-led reforms to Obamacare,” also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

No one answered several calls Wednesday afternoon to a phone number listed on Peck’s campaign announcement.

Sullivan, who has represented the district in eastern Craighead County since 2015, said he welcomed Peck to the race, but had never met the doctor and did not know anything about his platform.

No Democrats have announced plans to run for the seat in 2018.

“Having served the people of Northeast Arkansas through health care and getting to hear the issues facing most families, I’ll bring a well rounded and considered approach to the topics we’ll discuss in the legislature,” Peck’s statement read.

Last month, Sullivan announced plans to retire at the end of the year as the head of Ascent Children’s Health Services, after several reported instances of children in the company’s care being left inside vans, resulting in one death on a hot summer day.

After the death of the boy at Ascent’s West Memphis facility, Sullivan came under criticism for a law he sponsored earlier this year to strip the rule-making authority of the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission.

Sullivan said at the time that the commission’s rules had become too costly for child care centers.

Peck did not refer to the controversy or mention Sullivan in his news release.

Print Headline: Jonesboro doctor joins legislative race

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