Interest in 2014 political races heats up

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 112 views 

The announcements for 2014 continue to pour in. Today's (July 1) announcement comes from Dane Zimmerman, a Republican who will run for the state house seat in District 95.

Zimmerman said he wants to bring a "new energy" to the district.

"It is my hope to bring a renewed energy to the District 95 seat – I will do this through consistent availability to the people of District 95 and through representation at the State Capitol."

Sue Scott, R-Rogers won the seat in District 95 in the general election last year and is serving her first term. District 95 is located in central Benton County.

In Zimmerman's announcement, the "lifelong resident of Northwest Arkansas" said he was committed to the values of the people of District 95. He went on to say that he would fight for those values if elected in November 2014. A 13-year member of the Army National Guard, Zimmerman served for more than seven years as an Army National Guard Recruiter in Northwest Arkansas, according to his campaign website

He has also been an ambassador for the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce, a lion with the Bentonville Breakfast Lion's Club, and is a member of the Bella Vista American Legion Post 341.

Zimmerman works as an enrollment advisor at the University of Phoenix, where he also completed his bachelor's degree in psychology in 2012 and is pursuing his master's degree in business administration, according to his Facebook page. 

The 2014 election has gotten off to an unusually early start this year, as five people have already announced for governor, two have announced for lieutenant governor and several others have openly acknowledged exploring runs for the U.S. Senate and Congress.

In the Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith regions, several announcements have been made regarding runs for state house and state senate, including Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, who confirmed to The City Wire that he will seek re-election to his District 81 seat.

"I really love the district. It's newly formed and it's a good district and it's very conservative," Harris said. "I think there's too much at stake in the upcoming legislative session …to look at the private option, to see what we've got to look at for every year it's going to have to be approved. And look at the triggers, and just to see what's going to have to be approved."

Harris said he would be concerned if too many members chose to explore life in the private sector or other offices that might have more prestige.

"If too many members look to get out to run for other races, those are important seats, you know, that we have to look at filling," he said, adding that he values his position in the house. "I want to stay put and be a fighting member in the house of representatives, which I love. It's going to be important for me to stay put and be a fighting member, which I've been a fighting member the last two sessions."

Other announced candidates for districts in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith regions include:

• Lucas Roebuck and Robin Lundstrum, who are challenging each other in the Republican primary in district 87;

• Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, who has announced he will run for re-election to his District 86 seat; and

• Republican Jana Della Rosa, who announced in May her intention to run in District 90.