Democratic Party of Arkansas chairman Will Bond hinted last week that he expected a third Democrat to enter the Fourth District race besides D.C. Morrison and State Sen. Gene Jeffress (D-Louann).

Today (Feb. 27), Q. Byrum Hurst, longtime Hot Springs attorney and small business owner, announced he will enter the race for the Democratic nomination. Hurst plans to officially file on Tuesday.

“I believe, as President Bill Clinton once said, that we need to have a laser-like focus on rebuilding our economy. I am running because I want to be the candidate who brings economic development front and center to this race,” said Hurst. “We need to send a leader to Washington who will build on the successful track record of our Congressman Mike Ross.  Arkansas cannot afford to send someone to Washington who only wants to dismantle the progress we have made in the name of partisan politics.”

Hurst, a life-long resident of Hot Springs and former candidate for State Representative, said his 37 years in business and as a practicing attorney would be assets for his campaign. He also referenced his grandfathers, both of whom were former preachers.

“Growing up in Arkansas, I was taught to honor public service. A commitment to service was instilled in me by my grandfathers, both of whom were ordained ministers; one pastored the Missionary Baptist Church and the other served the Church of God,” Hurst said.  “The values they instilled led me to want to serve the Lord by obtaining my license to preach from the Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church. My faith has also taught me that I have an obligation to give back to the community, an obligation to serve.”

In his announcement, Hurst said he would work on economic issues.

“I am running because I believe in public service. I see the extraordinary economic potential for Arkansas’s future and I will be a tireless advocate who will fight for the people of this state,” said Hurst.  “With a common sense approach, I will work to expand the natural gas and oil exploration in our state, fight to bring more new energy industries to Arkansas, regrow our manufacturing base, and provide opportunities for every child in this state to graduate with a college education.  The key is hard work, creating more educational and economic opportunity, and ensuring we honor our obligations to our senior citizens by protecting Medicare and Social Security.”

Hurst is a 1967 graduate of Hot Springs High School and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974.

Hurst and his wife, Rita, have been married for 32 years. They raised five children and are grandparents to eight grandkids.

Last week, Hurst indicated he would run for the State Senate.

Three Republicans are vying for the Fourth District Congressional seat, including Tom Cotton, John Cowart and Beth Anne Rankin.

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