Jessica M. Karmasek Jul. 15, 2013, 2:30pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) -- An Arkansas lawmaker is the first Democrat to throw his hat into the race for state attorney general.

On Wednesday, Rep. Nate Steel -- also an attorney -- kicked off his campaign in his hometown of Nashville, Ark.

Steel, who represents Sevier County and part of Howard County, is serving his second term in the Arkansas House.

He currently serves on the judiciary committee, joint budget committee and also is the vice chairman of the agriculture, forestry and economic development committee.

Steel earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from University of Arkansas, where he also earned his law degree.

He told supporters at a campaign rally last week that he's not scared to tackle the tough issues.

"I've never been one to back down from a fight," Steel said, according to KARK-4 News.

"I've never forgotten who stood with me when I needed them and I'll always stand with my legislative colleagues and my members of law enforcement as the next AG time in and time out, and I won't always do what's popular, but I guarantee I'll always do what's right."

Earlier this month, Republican Leslie Rutledge announced she is running for attorney general.

Rutledge was Mike Huckabee's legal counsel when he was running for president and when he was governor of Arkansas.

She will face David Sterling, a private practice lawyer from North Little Rock, for the GOP nomination.

Sterling announced he is running for the office in May.

Current Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, is barred by term limits from running for re-election.

McDaniel assumed the office in January 2007, succeeding Mike Beebe, the state's current governor. He was re-elected in 2010.

McDaniel was running for governor, but dropped out of the race in January amid questions about an extramarital relationship.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

More News