Candidate filing closed at noon today (March 1) setting the field for the May primaries and potential November elections.
In Congressional races, there was plenty of last-minute filing action leading to unexpected match-ups in the First and Second Districts.
On the last day of filing, Jonesboro Prosecutor Scott Ellington filed for the Democratic nomination for Congress. With State Rep. Clark Hall (D-Marvell) and Arkansas State University professor Gary Latanich, Democrats will have a hot primary to take on incumbent Republican Cong. Rick Crawford.
In the Second District, filing closed with former State Rep. Herb Rule (D-Little Rock) as the only Democrat to challenge incumbent Republican Cong. Tim Griffin.
Republican incumbent Cong. Steve Womack will face a Third District challenge from Democrat Ken Aden.
Earlier in the week, Hot Springs attorney Q. Byrum Hurst entered the Democratic field, leading to a three-way race for that nomination with State Sen. Gene Jeffress (D-Louann) and former U.S. Senate candidate D.C. Morrison.
Republicans in the Fourth District primary include 2010 nominee Beth Anne Rankin and newcomers Tom Cotton and John Cowart.
135 LEGISLATIVE SEATS
Certain to be closely watched this spring and fall are the match-ups in all 135 House and Senate seats.
Due to legislative redistricting, all House and Senate seats will be on the ballot.
In the end, Arkansas Democrats fielded a total of 125 candidates for state legislative offices and Arkansas Republicans fielded a total of 118.
Next week, Talk Business bloggers Jason Tolbert and Michael Cook will highlight what they see as the hottest House and Senate races to watch in 2012. Cook has already started some number crunching, which you can read at this link.