Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter today filed the articles of incorporation on Wednesday allowing him to organize and finance a campaign for governor, said Alex Reed of Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.
Halter, a Democrat, announced on his Facebook page he has filed paperwork establishing the nonprofit organization “Bill Halter for Arkansas” allowing him to organize the campaign.
He said a formal campaign kickoff will be announced later.
“Today I have taken the first step towards launching a campaign for governor,” Halter said on the Facebook page Bill Halter for Arkansas. “Arkansans have the right to expect that their governor be tough on their behalf, independent and committed to achieving real results. I am proud to have done that as Arkansas’s lieutenant governor and that is what I intend do if elected governor.
Halter declared his intention to enter the governor’s race last week after Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he is dropping out.
McDaniel formally ended his bid on Jan. 25. In an e-mail to his supporters that day, McDaniel, who recently admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a Hot Springs lawyer, said if he ran for governor “this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas’s future.”
Halter announced a short time later on Jan. 25 he is entering the race. Halter lost a Democratic primary election to then-U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., in 2010. She lost her bid for a third term in the November 2010 general election to Republican John Boozman of Rogers.
On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson said in a story broken early this month by 5NEWS that he expects to enter the 2014 governor’s race. Hutchinson recently was tabbed by the National Rifle Association to spearhead a school safety initiative following the mass shooting in December at a Connecticut elementary school. The NRA is proposing that an armed volunteer be in place at each school in the country.
On Jan. 25, Hutchinson told 5NEWS he is running.
“You can’t be a candidate until you file, but I intend to be a candidate, without question,” he said. “I’m in the race.”
Hutchinson said he welcomes Halter to the race, adding there is still a lot of time for other candidates to enter.
“We’ll have to see who surfaces,” he said.
Central Arkansas businessman Curtis Coleman also is considering a run for governor in the GOP primary election.