State Rep. Duncan Baird, R-Lowell, announced Wednesday (July 31) he is running for Arkansas treasurer in the 2014 election.
In a news release, Baird, who is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election to the House, said his treasurer’s campaign will “focus on restoring public trust to the treasurer’s office.”
Previous Treasurer Martha Shoffner resigned in May after her arrest by federal officials on charges of political corruption and allegations that she accepted at least $36,000 from a bond dealer doing business with her office.
Gov. Mike Beebe on May 29 appointed Charles Robinson, who served 28 years as legislative auditor, as state treasurer until the 2014 general election winner takes office in January 2015.
Baird said the public trust “has been broken in the treasurer’s office.”
“I want the people of Arkansas to be able to look at the treasurer’s office and have confidence that we’re working on behalf of them to do what’s best for the state,” he said in the news release.
Baird, who serves as House chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, has worked as a securities trader and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
“My degree in finance and accounting and my professional experience as a licensed securities trader have helped prepare me for this job,” Baird said. “Experience in the legislature, and the opportunity to be heavily involved in the budget process, will help me lead the office.”
In the news release, Baird noted he has pushed for ethics reform, including a law extending the lobbying cooling-off period to constitutional officers, agency heads and government regulators.
“I believe we should always be looking for ways to make state government more open, ethical and accountable,” Baird said. “Reform has been important to me as a legislator, and it will be a priority for me in the treasurer’s office.”
Dennis Milligan, a Republican serving as Saline County clerk, also is seeking the treasurer’s post in the May 2014 primary.
After Baird announced, Milligan issued a statement, saying, “I am looking forward to a vigorous, spirited and clean campaign. The voters will compare our records and then decide who is the best qualified candidate for this important office.
“I will be campaigning on my life experience as a past Republican Party of Arkansas chairman, an elected official in an administrative office and as a successful small businessman.”