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Chairman of Democratic Party of Arkansas won't seek re-election

by Michael R. Wickline | December 8, 2022 at 1:52 p.m.
Grant Tennille is shown in this December 2014 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Grant Tennille confirmed Thursday he is not seeking re-election to the post during the party's State Committee meeting on Saturday in Little Rock.

Tennille said in a written statement Monday for friends and fellow Democrats that "working together, we eliminated all of the Party's outstanding debt and made solvency a reality, not just a dream.

"I have done the job I was asked to do, but I don't really see a place for me in the Party's leadership moving forward," he said. "I am a mechanic. It's more what I'm good at, but there is no more wrenching to be done. It's time for someone with a vision for the Party's future to step up and lead. I will be around and happy to jump in and help if we need a wrench again."

Tennille, who worked in the administration of then-Govs. Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe, has served as the Democratic Party chairman since October 2021. He was elected to fill out the remainder of former chairman Michael John Gray's term.

The Arkansas Times first reported about Tennille's plan not to seek re-election as party chairman.

The Republican Party of Arkansas State Committee on Saturday elected former U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland of Little Rock as its chairman. He succeeds Jonelle Fulmer, who had served since December 2020.

The Republican Party of Arkansas' executive committee on Wednesday selected Seth Mays as the party's executive director. He succeeds Sarah Jo Reynolds, who had served in the post for the past several years. Mays is a former Republican National Committee and Republican of Arkansas staff member who worked for former Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb's campaign for lieutenant governor.

“Seth Mays has the experience, knowledge, relationships, and the work ethic to thrive in this leadership role," Hiland said in a news release. "I look forward to working with him in leading the Arkansas Republican Party."


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