Here’s an AP brief on plans by Land Commissioner John Thurston, term limited in his current job, and Deputy Secretary of State Joseph Wood saying they plan to run for secretary of state in 2018. House Speaker Jeremy Gillam is a third Republican with interest, among perhaps others. The primary is two years off.
The good news here is that the current officeholder, Mark Martin, who can’t run for another term, told the Democrat-Gazette yesterday he has no plans to run for political office in 2018. He’s been a cipher in his two terms, emerging periodically to take junkets abroad (Azerbaijan inspired our photo shop here), but rarely speaking to the press or public. His name, the same as that of a famous race car driver from Arkansas, has been solid gold, however. Governor in 2022?
Thurston issued this statement:
Primarily and most of all, I am honored to be serving as Commissioner of State Lands which has been a wonderful opportunity. I plan to finish strong and hand the office over in the best shape it has ever been.
I am beginning to be asked what I am doing after COSL and there has been rumors and speculations, so I wanted to let Arkansans know what my intentions are going forward. I do intend to run for Secretary of State in 2018.
This is not the start of a campaign but rather an informal
announcement to inform my constituents. This is an important election year and there is much to be done before 2018.
I hope to have demonstrated my commitment, competence, and character to the State of Arkansas. My goal coming into the COSL was to be a good steward and not bring reproach to the state; but not only that, the best way to show honor to the people is to honor the office, and this is the attitude I will have going into SOS.
Previous Secretaries have done a great job and I would like to
continue upon their work.
SOS has several lines of business, and COSL is a multipurpose office as well. I am accustom to a multipurpose office, and will approach the office in a prudent way as I do my research early on to make sure the office is complying statutorily and that it is being administered in a professional manner.
There are a couple of dynamics that continue to develop; voting
machines and security of both software and hardware is profound. The single most important part of a republic is voting. I believe resources should be readily available to ensure speedy, accurate, and secure elections. There is a need for ongoing planning for continued funding for elections.
Because of the uncertain times in which we live, I will continue to
assess security measures and make certain that the Capitol and its grounds are as safe and secure as possible.
Ideas are our most important resource and ideas come from people, therefore I also would make myself very accessible to the county clerks and the election commissioners.
Lastly, the next SOS will be instrumental in redistricting, and I hope to play a role in drawing lines that are fair and logical for the voters. I think gerrymandering is insulting to the public.
My objective as an elected official is to do my job so well that my
constituents can live their lives, raise kids, pursue their careers,
enjoy life, and never have to be concerned with the office I have been trusted with.