Term-limited State Rep. Duncan Baird (R-Lowell) says he will seek the GOP nomination for Arkansas State Treasurer in 2014.

Baird, who co-chairs the Joint Budget Committee, will face a Republican primary challenge from Saline County Treasurer Dennis Milligan, a former Arkansas GOP chairman.  No Democrats have declared for the post.

Former State Treasurer Martha Shoffner (D) resigned from the office in June after being arrested by federal authorities on charges of extortion.

She faces a 14-count indictment that includes 7 counts of receipt of bribes by an agent of state government receiving federal funds, 6 counts of extortion, and 1 count of attempted extortion.

“As elected officials, the power and responsibility that we have comes from the citizens of the state. That public trust has been broken in the Treasurer’s office,” Baird said. “My primary focus as State Treasurer will be to restore trust to the office. I want the people of Arkansas to be able to look at the Treasurer’s office and have confidence that we’re working on behalf of them to do what’s best for the state.”

Baird is a Series 7 licensed securities trader in the brokerage division of Arkansas’s largest bank, Arvest Bank, and holds a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Arkansas.

“My degree in finance and accounting and my professional experience as a licensed securities trader have helped prepare me for this job,” Baird said. “Experience in the legislature, and the opportunity to be heavily involved in the budget process, will help me lead the office.”

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