Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, said he has ruled out asking the Senate next year to elect him as the next Senate president pro tempore from 2021-2023.
Senate Republican leader Bart Hester of Cave Springs said he plans to ask his colleagues to elect him as next Senate president pro tempore at the end of the fiscal session that starts in April. The next Senate president pro tempore will formally take over in January of 2021.
Sen. Garry Stubblefield, R-Branch, said he is considering running to be the next Senate president pro tempore as well.
Hendren has served as the Senate president pro tempore since January of 2019.
He succeeded Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, who served as the Senate president pro tempore from November of 2014 until 2019.
Hendren said in an interview that he wanted to wait until the end of this year to announce his plans “to avoid the race beginning immediately after the last year.”
"I am going to let somebody else have a chance,” said Hendren, whose uncle is Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
He said he still is considering running for governor in 2022.
“I have a lot on my plate. That obviously is something I am considering and there are some constraints to being pro tempore on campaign activities,” Hendren said.
Hendren, owner of Hendren Plastics, emphasized that “I have a lot of demands with my business.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin already has signaled that he plans to run for governor in 2022.
Besides Hendren, President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have said they also are considering running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.
Hutchinson has served as governor since January of 2015 and his second four-year term ends in January of 2023.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.