A couple of weeks ago we were stunned to hear about the sudden passing of Tommy Caubble of Wynne who was running for the State Senate in District 23 in east Arkansas.  His untimely passing created a vacancy for the Republican nomination to face Democratic Rep. Jerry Brown also from Wynne.

The Tolbert Report has confirmed that several potential candidates have expressed interest in filling the vacancy, but it appears Ronald Caldwell of Wynne will likely seek the office and be the nominee.

Caldwell is well-known in Wynne as former owner of Caldwell Lumber and a longtime business leader in the community.  (Full disclosure: I went to church with Ronald growing up in Wynne and was college classmates with his son-in-law, Carl Weatherford, at Ouachita who is now a pastor in the area.)

Sources close to Caldwell tell me to expect a statement from him soon.  The party will will hold a special nominating convention on Friday, July 27 in Hot Springs. The Executive Committee of the Republican Party will be the nominating committee. The nominee will be confirmed at the Republican State Convention next Saturday (July 28) in Hot Springs.

UPDATE – Caldwell confirms that he is running.  Press release below…

Ronald Caldwell Announces Candidacy For State Senate District 23 Race

Wynne, Ark. – Wynne native Ronald Caldwell today announced his candidacy to fill a vacancy in the Arkansas State Senate District 23 race. Caldwell is running for the Republican nomination after the nominee Tommy Caubble passed away earlier this month.

“I wish to honor the late Tommy

Caubble in my commitment to make East Arkansas a better place,” said Caldwell. “I will fight for hardworking Arkansas taxpayers by looking for ways to reduce spending, encourage job growth and make state government more efficient and effective.”

Caldwell is the former owner of Caldwell Lumber Company, which he founded and managed with his brother for over 30 years. He currently is a real estate investor in Cross County. He is also a former member of the Cross County Economic Development Commission.

“As a former business owner, I know how vital our small businesses are to the Delta region,” said Caldwell. “As a State Senator, I will work to make our state a magnet for job creators to locate so that we can make Arkansas a better place to work, live and raise a family.”

Ronald Caldwell is a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro where he received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He and his wife Brenda have been married for 35 years, have two children, three grandchildren and are active members of Wynne Baptist Church.

State Senate District 23 includes all of Jackson County and parts of Cross, Lee, Monroe, St. Francis, White and Woodruff counties.

Also an update on the process from the Republican Party of Arkansas…

The convention will take place Friday, July 27, at the Hot Springs Convention Center in the Majestic Room starting at 2:30 p.m. The 35-member Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Arkansas will serve as the convention’s nominating body.

The nominated candidate will be certified at the Republican Party’s State Convention the following day.

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Jason Tolbert is the moderator for his opinion blog, The Tolbert Report. He can be reached by e-mail at Jason@TolbertReport.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TolbertReport.

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