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Former Democratic governor of Arkansas has announced a bid to become chief justice of the Supreme Court



Little Rock, Arkansas – A former legislator from Arkansas is a candidate for chief judge of the state Supreme Court after an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic candidacy for governor last year.

In the nonpartisan election that will take place next year, Jay Martin declared on Wednesday that he is a candidate to succeed retiring Chief Justice Dan Kemp. Kemp declared earlier this year that he will not run for office again.

Martin has entered the race for the position as the fourth contender after Justices Karen Baker, Barbara Webb, and Rhonda Wood.

Although Arkansas’s court seats are impartial, outside conservative organizations have recently targeted the court.

Cody Hiland, a former state GOP chairman and federal prosecutor, was appointed to the seven-member court by Republican governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in July, forming a conservative majority that also includes Webb and Wood. Last year, Baker defeated a former Republican lawmaker who positioned himself as a constitutional conservative and won reelection.

Hiland was chosen to take Justice Robin Wynne’s place after his passing.

Martin was a state representative from 2003 to 2007. Last year, he was beaten by Sanders in the main election in Chris Jones’ attempt to win the Democratic candidacy for governor. In 2006, Martin also made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party’s lieutenant governor position.



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