Dismang To Seek Senate President Pro Temp

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 53 views 

With the Arkansas legislative session nearing the beginning of the end, the Senate is already looking to the next term.

Their rules differ slightly from the House of Representatives in that they elect their President Pro Tempore-designate at the end of the regular legislative session while the House waits until the end of the fiscal session.  Of course, the designate is subject to change and it did last year when Republican Sen. Michael Lamoureux replaced Democratic Sen. Larry Teague after the majority party switch in the 2012 election.

The deadline for candidates to submit names is by the end of the day on Wednesday.  The Tolbert Report has learned that at least one Republican plans to seek the post – Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Beebe. Previously Sen. Johnny Key of Mountain Home had considered running, but he has since informed the Tolbert Report that he is not.

Dismang is currently in his second term in the State Senate having served one term previously in the House. He is Senate Chair of Joint Budget Special Language subcommittee.  He is often at work behind-the-scenes especially with working out compromises between the two chambers as he is close friends with many of his former House colleagues, including Speaker Davy Carter.  He has also been involved with working out the details of the “private option” health plan – part of the compromise on the expansion of Medicaid.

It is unclear if a Democrat or another Republican will run as well. Often the candidates are two members of the majority party.  Currently, the Senate has 21 Republicans and 14 Democrats.