Ozark lawmaker Berry won't seek reelection to Arkansas House

State Rep. Mark Berry, R-Ozark, seen June 3 at the state Capitol in Little Rock, filed on Wednesday a bill that would make hazing at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy a felony, but he said he doesn't plan to move it forward after receiving assurances the academy will make its own policy on the issue. (File Photo/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Colin Murphey)

Arkansas Rep. Mark Berry, R-Ozark, said Thursday that he will not seeking re-election to a third two-year term in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

“Being able to represent the citizens of District 82, District 26 and the state of Arkansas has been a highlight of my 50 year public service career,” he said in a written statement.

Berry, who is the House chairman of the Joint Performance Review Committee, said he will continue to serve as a state representative until the end of his current term in January of 2025.

“My early announcement will afford the people of District 26 an opportunity to determine who will serve them in the future,” he said in his written statement. “Finally, I will cherish the friendship of my colleagues, in both chambers of our legislature, two administrations and the many supporters all over the state of Arkansas.”

Madison County Justice of the Peace James Eaton said he is considering running for the House seat.

House District 26 includes portions of Carroll, Madison, and Franklin counties

Berry is the second Arkansas House incumbent to announce that he is not seeking re-election next year. In March, state Rep. Lanny Fite, R-Benton, announced he’s not seeking re-election to the state House.

The 2024 primary election will be March 5, and the 2024 general election will be Nov. 5.