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2nd GOP candidate enters race for Arkansas attorney general job

by CHRISTY BUSBY WORSHAM TEXARKANA GAZETTE | February 11, 2021 at 6:53 a.m.
Leon Jones Jr. is shown in this photo.

TEXARKANA -- Leon Jones Jr., a Republican seeking the Arkansas attorney general's post, announced his candidacy in Texarkana on Tuesday.

Jones, 49, said he believes constituents want to know elected officials care about them regardless of political affiliation.

An elected official should represent all people, he said.

If elected, he has three major areas of focus:

• Identity theft protection.

Jones plans to work with federal, state and local law enforcement to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to combat identity theft.

• Eliminating fraud, particularly in fair housing, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs.

As the current executive director of the state's Fair Housing Commission, Jones' office investigates several complaints, with many of them dealing with service animals for the disabled.

If elected, he plans to expand education and investigative resources to Medicaid and Medicare fraud.

• Ensuring all residents, particularly rural residents, have better access to technology and security.

When it comes to technology, ensuring residents in rural areas have access to broadband internet is a primary goal.

Jones touts his leadership roles and experience in two state agencies.

He has served as the executive director of the state's Fair Housing Commission since July 2019. Prior to that, he was director of the Department of Labor.

While at the Department of Labor, he instituted changes that resulted in savings of more than $70,000 annually. A native of Pine Bluff, he is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and University of Arkansas School of Law. He ran a law firm from 2009-14.

He said he plans to apply the laws in an equitable manner and ensure the laws protect the rights of all Arkansans.

Another announced candidate for the Republican nomination for attorney general is Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who made his announcement Monday. Also, former U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland has said he is considering running in the GOP primary for attorney general. The next election is in 2022.

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