State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, said Friday that he plans to run for lieutenant governor in 2022.
Rapert, who has served in the state Senate since 2011, said he has been pressed by several people in recent weeks about his plans for 2022 and “I really wanted to settle the rumor and say yes this is my plan at this time,” rather than running for re-election to the Senate.
“I am ready to contribute at another level. I think there is more that I can do. I would love to support the next governor,” he said in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning.
A self-described fiscal and social conservative, Rapert said he wants to be a “great advocate” for business as lieutenant governor.
Rapert said he doesn’t plan a formal announcement until after the 2020 presidential election.
The current lieutenant governor, Republican Tim Griffin of Little Rock, has served in the post since 2015 and will be barred from running for re-election in 2022. Griffin has said he is considering running for governor in 2022. Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, and former Trump Administration spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee also have signaled that they are weighing a bid for governor in 2022.
The current governor, Republican Asa Hutchinson, has served in the post since 2015 and will be term-limited and barred from running for re-election in 2022.
Under the Arkansas Constitution, the lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate when it’s in session and he can vote to break ties. Her she serves as governor if the governor dies or is impeached, removed from office or otherwise unable to serve.