We first reported the rumblings of rumors that U.S. Rep. French Hill is going to be tapped by President Donald Trump for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury last week. This morning, the D-G follows up, citing two similar reports in other publications — Dow Jones and American Banker.
Deputy Secretary is the number two slot at Treasury and typically a powerful role. These things are inevitably fluid and I have no idea how it will play out, but for what it’s worth I’ve heard the rumor from two tapped-in sources I trust. We’ll see.
Other reports have suggested that Hill may be in the running for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
I asked Hill for comment last week and received no reply.
Lockwood reports that the Capitol in Little Rock is aflutter, since Hill’s departure would open up a congressional seat, triggering a special election. Lockwood does a nice job of rounding up some potential candidates: state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (he’s interested, pending “thought and prayer”); state Sen. Jason Rapert (says he needs to focus on the session); House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (also rumored to be eyeing a Secretary of State bid, says he’ll visit with folks to think on it). As a side note, Gillam uses the Southern verb “visit” in nearly every sentence. The man likes to visit.
Some other names to ponder: former state Rep. Ann Clemmer ran for the seat against Hill in 2014. Sen. David Sanders and Sen. Jonathan Dismang have both been rumored for the seat in the past, although their heavy involvement in the development of the private option Medicaid expansion might get sticky in a GOP primary. And there is not one, but two, Meeks brothers available.
The Dems, meanwhile, believe the seat could be gettable (the district includes Pulaski County, which Hill lost both times). Any ideas on who they should run?