Beth Anne Rankin, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District in 2010 and 2012, said today she is not running for Congress in 2014.
Rankin lost the 2012 primary nomination to eventual winner Tom Cotton. In 2010, she won the primary and then lost to Mike Ross in the general election. She said she “sensed the timing was not right for me personally” this year.
“It was a tough decision-making process for me,” she said in an interview. “And I think it was just because I had a strong attachment to the ‘Arkansas Four’ and her citizens.”
The Magnolia resident said she has informed the other announced Republican candidates, state Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, and businessman Tommy Moll, and has been contacting donors and supporters from around the district.
She said the Fourth Congressional District seat is the elected office she would like to have and did not rule out a future race.
“Maybe it’s just a ‘no’ right now. Maybe it’s a ‘not now,’ not a ‘not ever,'” she said.
After winning the Republican nomination in 2010, the former Miss Arkansas was the frontrunner in 2012 until Cotton entered the race and attracted heavy financial support, including from out-of-state donors.
She said the results of that race did not discourage her from making this one. She said the $400,000 she raised traditionally would have been a sufficient amount in a primary and that she wasn’t daunted by the prospect of raising money this time. In fact, she said she enjoyed the process of raising funds and talking to donors.
“The bottom line is campaigns are expensive, and you’ve got to enjoy the fundraising process even to consider it,” she said.