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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Report: Ark. senator considering run for AG's office

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Feb 15, 2013

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) -- An Arkansas lawmaker -- once rumored to be a potential gubernatorial candidate -- is reportedly considering a run for attorney general in 2014.

The City Wire reported Wednesday that state Sen. Robert Thompson, a Democrat, said he has received "a lot of calls and encouragement" to look at running for the position.

However, he told the newspaper he would not make a decision until "well after" the legislation session is over.

"The big issue is we're in the middle of a legislative session and I'm focused on my duties as a legislator," he said.

Besides serving as a state senator, Thompson -- a former county deputy prosecuting attorney -- currently practices law in his hometown of Paragould.

If he would run and be elected, Thompson told The City Wire he would like to "personally" fight more cases on behalf of the state instead of relying on staff attorneys in the Attorney General's Office.

Current Attorney General Dustin McDaniel was preparing to run for governor, but has since dropped out of the race.

In a statement posted on his website last month, McDaniel said he had hoped he could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with his "vision for the future."

"Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future," he said, referring to continued questions about an extramarital relationship.

"When it comes to our economy, our infrastructure and our schools -- Arkansas is at a crossroads. I believe that we need a visionary to lead our state forward on these critical issues. Arkansas deserves a campaign that will focus on those issues, so I believe it's in the best interests of my family, our state and the Democratic Party for me to not run for governor."

According to reports, McDaniel admitted in December to an "inappropriate" relationship with Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis.

Davis handled a handful of cases involving the Attorney General's Office.

McDaniel said he will spend his last two years as the state's top lawyer focused on "issues that matter to Arkansas," including fighting Medicaid fraud and standing up for consumers. He will not seek reelection.

"I pledge that our next attorney general will inherit one of the most well-run offices in the United States, and I will leave grateful for the tremendous honor of having served," he said.

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

Beebe, who was re-elected governor in 2010, cannot run again because of the state's term limits.

According to The City Wire, others rumored to be looking at running for attorney general include: McDaniel's current Chief of Staff Blake Rutherford, a Democrat; state Rep. and House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot; and University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Chancellor Chris Thomason, a Democrat and former prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' 8th Judicial District.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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