The filing period to run for office in the State of Arkansas ended on Tuesday (March 1). The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office reported that 379 partisan candidates filed this year.
Arkansas Republican Party Chairwoman Jonelle Fulmer said this is the highest number of Republicans to have filed.
“It went amazingly well, we had probably over 200 candidates come through and file with the Republican Party of Arkansas and we’re going to see a lot of primaries which is great as a majority party we expect that,” Fulmer said.
Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Grant Tennille said they have focused on recruiting strong candidates where they believe they can win.
“We saw exactly what we expected, we have strong candidates across the state in every corner, we have focused on recruiting strong candidates in areas where we can win because the goal is to break the Republican super-majority in this cycle,” said Tennille.
At least five Democrats are vying to be the Democratic nominee for governor, and while Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the lone Republican for the past year, radio personality Francis “Doc” Washburn filed three days ago as a Republican candidate.
“I know that all of our candidates are aware that they can’t take anything for granted, so they’re going to work very very hard in the primaries,” Fulmer added.
While Fulmer said they are confident that ultimately they will win most races, Tennille said they have the most qualified candidates.
“Our candidates are the most qualified in the race because they look the most like all of our neighbors here in Arkansas and they really understand what the people need and it’s been too long since this legislature and this capitol was responsive to the majority of the people in Arkansas,” he said.
According to the Secretary of State, the following is a breakdown of the filings per party:
Auditor of State
Commissioner of State Lands
Secretary of State
Editor’s note: Marine Glisovic is a senior political reporter for KATV News.