Hot Springs educator Janis Percefull, who announced last year that she would seek the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Fourth Congressional District, says she will now run as an Independent.

James Lee Witt, former FEMA director, was the only other announced Democrat in the race. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) and Tommy Moll have announced on the Republican side.

In an email to members of the press overnight, Percefull said she had amended her Federal Election Commission (FEC) forms and will attempt to collect 2,000 signatures by petition to qualify for the November ballot.

“In this country we have two major political parties. This generation must decide to carry forward the great traditions of each — one that saw us through a civil war and its aftermath — another a great depression and a world war. Or will we simply hand over all those great traditions to the ‘vested interest’ those who will use their ‘wither on the vine’ tactic to destroy the very foundation of our Republic?” Percefull wrote.

According to her statement, Percefull expressed her objection to the Democratic Party’s filing fee for office.

From the beginning of my campaign, I have walk[ed] the walk on keeping big money out of my run for political office. A $10,000, filing fee is obscene and abhorrent in a state as poverty ridden as ours. By not allowing a candidate access to the ballot by signature petition, they have successfully denied a voice within the parties to all but the wealthy, and/or those well connected to ‘vested interest,’” she added.

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