The saga of former State Rep. Fred Smith (D-Crawfordsville) continued on Monday.
Last week, Smith was a last-minute filer for the seat he forfeited last year after a felony conviction necessitated his resignation.
On Thursday (March 1), Smith surprised Democratic Party leaders when he resurfaced and asked to file for State Representative. After contending that his felony conviction was going to be expunged, Democratic officials accepted Smith’s filing fee but cautioned that legally he still might not be eligible.
Talk Business blogger Jason Tolbert has video of the ordeal at this link.
Yesterday (March 5), the Democratic Party announced that Smith had not met eligibility requirements and would not be certified as a candidate.
John Lyon with the Arkansas News Bureau reports:
“He will not run as a member of the Democratic Party of Arkansas,” DPA spokesperson Candace Martin said.
The Chicot County Circuit Clerk’s Office confirmed today that no expungement order has been issued in the case, nor has a motion for one been filed.
When contacted by phone Monday for comment, Smith said, “Let me just get back with you in one minute” and hung up. Several hours later he had not returned the call, and calls to his phone went to voicemail.
Martin said the party will give Smith 24 hours to decide whether to withdraw his candidacy voluntarily. If he does, the party will return his $3,000 filing fee, but if he refuses to withdraw the fee will be forfeited, she said.
You can read more at this link.