When Congressman Steve Womack was selected to be on the House Appropriation subcommittee over the Department of Defense in January, it was generally assumed that this meant he was staying put as the Congressman for the Third Congressional District and would not be seeking another office in 2014.
But comments he made on the Alice Stewart Show on Tuesday morning indicate he might be open to tossing his hat in the ring.
“Two very important races will come up for Republicans and that is the governor’s mansion and the Senate race,” said Womack. “Those are going to be two high profile races. I have not ruled anything out but I am concentrating on my duties as a member of the Appropriations Committee – the Defense Subcommittee particularly – as we continue to do out work. There is plenty of time to make those decisions and I would say that sometime this summer, we’ll have clarity as to who the nominees are going to be for each of those critical offices to face voters in Arkansas.”
Womack’s entry into either race would certainly shake things up.
In the governor’s race, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson has already announced that he will run and sources tell the Tolbert Report that he has begun the preliminarily stages of raising money. They do not expect a big number this quarter, but several big names have signed on board. Obviously, Womack’s entry would set up an interesting primary. (See update.)
The Senate race has not produced an announced candidate yet, but there is little doubt that a top Republican will be tapped to run against incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor who is already the subject of ads tying him to unpopular President Obama. Congressman Tom Cotton and Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr are rumored to be top prospects for a Pryor challenge in addition to Womack, although it is unclear if any of these three would enter the race against each other creating a primary.
UPDATE – Michael Tilley with Talk Business content partner The City Wire reports that a Womack spokesperson says he will not run for Governor in 2014, which clearly leaves the door open for U.S. Senate.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTQyOlo1ZY]