Newspaper article Roll Call

GOP Retirement Sparks Competitive House Race in Arkansas

Newspaper article Roll Call

GOP Retirement Sparks Competitive House Race in Arkansas

Article excerpt

Two-term Rep. Tim Griffin's unexpected retirement announcement will likely spur a crowded GOP primary for a competitive seat that Democrats hope to pick up in 2014.

Democrats had been targeting Arkansas' 2nd District even before the Republican lawmaker announced Monday he wasn't running for re- election. On Sunday, Griffin alerted GOP leadership of his retirement after just two terms in the House, according to a national Republican operative.

Hours after Griffin's announcement, local Republican operatives say there are now a host of potentially strong candidates eyeing bids to succeed him. Some of those GOP candidates are:

* State Sen. Jason Rapert, an evangelical Christian who was the chief sponsor of the state's controversial law that made abortions illegal after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

* State Sen. David Sanders, whom GOP operatives say may face a tea party primary challenger if he runs for re-election to his state Senate seat.

* State Sen. Jonathan Dismang, a cattle company owner who previously served in the state House before winning his state Senate seat in 2010. …

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