State Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, announced Saturday (Nov. 7) he is not running for re-election to his Senate District 7 seat. Later that day, Rep. Lance Eads, R-Springdale, announced he is seeking the seat.
Woods upset incumbent Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, in the 2012 GOP primary on his way to winning the Senate seat.
In a post on his Facebook page, Woods wrote that he would not be seeking a second term in the Arkansas Senate after serving four years in that body and six years in the House. He said he had sponsored more than 60 bills that became law and three constitutional amendments and was “satisfied with my accomplishments.”
“My intention was to announce this decision earlier but constituent obligations, being under the weather, and tremendous pressure to remain in the race delayed my action,” he wrote.
Woods wrote that he would be in Little Rock Monday to support Eads for his Senate post and Clint Penzo for the District 88 House seat held by Eads.
Later Saturday, Eads confirmed on his Facebook page that, “After much deliberation and prayer with my family and encouragement from constituents and colleagues I have decided to run for the State Senate District 7 seat.”
Eads is vice president of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. He had previously announced he was running for a second term in the Arkansas House.
Woods was the Senate sponsor of Amendment 94, the so-called ethics amendment approved by voters in 2014. The amendment’s provisions include limiting corporate and union contributions to candidates, extending term limits, creating a commission that later raised legislators’ and other officials’ salaries, and banning lobbyists from purchasing meals for individual legislators.
Woods had already drawn a primary opponent, Washington County Justice of the Peace Sharon Lloyd, who announced her candidacy in July. Lloyd has criticized Woods for his sponsorship of Amendment 94 and for his support for the private option, the program that purchases private insurance for lower-income Arkansans using federal Medicaid dollars.