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Tolliver is third candidate to announce run for Little Rock mayor

by Chelsea Boozer | June 6, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Another candidate has announced he is seeking the open Little Rock mayor position in this year's election.

Vincent Tolliver, who works for the Little Rock School District, said Tuesday he will run for mayor. He is one of four people who had picked up a packet of election materials for the position. He and one of the others hadn't previously announced their interest in running.

Friday was the first day potential candidates could pick up a packet, but doing so doesn't mean they will run for office. The deadline to file for a municipal position is Aug. 17, and candidates can start submitting completed petitions July 27.

Tolliver and C.E. Williams joined Frank Scott Jr. and Baker Kurrus in picking up packets Friday.

Scott and Kurrus had previously announced their candidacies. State Rep. Warwick Sabin has announced he's exploring the option of running for mayor, and a spokesman for his campaign said he would announce his candidacy soon.

Williams has not notified the media to express interest in the mayor position and did not return phone calls or messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Last year, Tolliver was in the running to become the Democratic National Committee chairman, but he was removed from consideration after he made comments about a fellow candidate's Muslim faith.

Tolliver said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress, shouldn't become the committee chairman because "Muslims discriminate against gays," in an email to the Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill.

In an open letter asking for votes in the chairman race last year, Tolliver wrote that four vice chairman positions should be created, one of which should be a "liaison for Angry White Males."

Media articles from Tolliver's time as a chairman candidate said he lived in Lake Village and split his time traveling between Los Angeles, Little Rock and Atlanta.

On Tuesday, Tolliver said he lives in Ward 1, which covers a swath of eastern Little Rock, and that he's an advocate for returning the city's school district back to local control.

Tolliver also ran as the Democratic candidate in Arkansas' 4th Congressional District in 1996, where he lost to Republican Jay Dickey.

The mayoral candidates aim to replace Mayor Mark Stodola, who announced in May that he won't seek re-election this year due to the discovery of a family member's illness.

The position is full time and pays $160,000 a year. The mayor has an office in City Hall, presides over city Board of Directors meetings, and has veto and appointment powers.

In addition to the contested mayor's race, the race for the Ward 1 seat on the Board of Directors also has drawn a lot of interest. So far nine people have picked up an election packet for that position, not including incumbent Erma Hendrix, who initially said she would not run for re-election but later said she would.

Picking up packets for the Ward 1 seat so far are: Greg Henderson, Danny Lewis, Taren Robinson, Michael "Ted" Adkins, Raymond Long, Bryan Frazier, Curtis Johnson, Belinda Barnes and Herbert Broadway.

Two people had picked up packets for Ward 2: Valerie Tatum and Rohn Muse. Incumbent Ken Richardson has said he plans to run for re-election.

Incumbent Kathy Webb is the only person who had picked up a Ward 3 packet as of Tuesday.

Ward 4 and the three at-large positions are not up for election this year. No one had picked up a Ward 5 packet.

Incumbent Doris Wright, Russ Racop and Stacey Lee have picked up a packet for Ward 6.

For Ward 7, Incumbent B.J. Wyrick and Edmond Davis have picked up packets.

To officially run for the offices, candidates must submit a petition signed by at least 50 qualified voters of the city, be at least 21 years old, be a registered voter and live within city limits.

Board members are paid $18,000 a year and meet every Tuesday.

Metro on 06/06/2018

Print Headline: Tolliver is third candidate to announce run for LR mayor

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