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Democrats in Arkansas announce a record number of candidates for state legislature



Little Rock, Arkansas – At a press conference on Tuesday, State Party executives and officials announced that qualified candidates would be running competitive campaigns in all targeted districts of the state in the 2024 general election, marking the end of the candidate file process.

Arkansas Democrats will battle 64 State House seats, the most since 2012 when the Party last had the majority in the chamber.

“This is a critical time in the history of Arkansas,” said Grant Tennille, Chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. “We believe we have recruited heroes. Heroes for health and safety over rancor and division, and heroes who believe that we can do better than being ranked 48th or 49th in so many facets of daily life. They are retired military officers, public school teachers, students, farmers, lawyers, and moms and dads. They are all advocates for a Better Arkansas.”

“Of course, I need to offer one final thank you,” added Tennille. “I need to thank Governor Sarah Sanders and her staff. To quote the farmer we spoke to in Searcy County earlier this month, ‘Governor Sanders has done more to help the Democratic Party than anything we’ve seen in years.’ Put simply, the conduct and political arrogance of the supermajority party in this state have led to a stronger position for the Democratic Party and the results speak for themselves.”

The State Party also announced that a total of 78 candidates will run for state house, including seven for the state senate, one for the state treasurer, one for each of the four congressional districts, and seven for the presidency.

“More than a dozen seats that were not contested last year will have Democrats running this time,” explained Vice Chair Jannie Cotton. “Voters in several parts of Arkansas will have a Democrat on the ballot for the first time in many years. Our recruitment is, by all metrics, the most successful effort in a decade.”

Arkansas Democrats boasted of a historic candidate slate and expressed fresh hope for weeks prior to filing. They are in the greatest position in a number of cycles to challenge the Republican supermajority in the State Legislature and run in four congressional districts because to their outstanding recruitment efforts.

“We see a huge opportunity to break the supermajority in the State House and to return some balance to the State Legislature. There are people who are not traditional Democrats paying attention to what Republican lawmakers are doing at the State Capitol,” said Will Watson, DPA Director of Strategy, who led the candidate recruitment effort at the State Party. “Now that we have our slate of candidates, we are charged with going to the districts and having real conversations with these Arkansans about what is happening in their communities. We are ready to do just that.”

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