Hot enough for you? Here’s an open line. Plus a smattering of political news, including one announcement for mayor and ballot initiative activity.

Frank Scott Jr. formally announced as a candidate for mayor. He’d nominally been exploring the race as a way around campaign fund-raising limits that otherwise delayed fund-raising until June 1. State Rep. Warwick Sabin and Baker Kurrus also have announced candidacies.

Candidates for city office were out gathering signatures today to qualify for the ballot. I signed Director Kathy Webb’s petition at the Hillcrest Famers Market, along with a petition to put a casino amendment on the statewide ballot. The canvasser said he expected to be gathering signatures soon for an amendment to increase the minimum wage and perhaps also to top off a signature-drive to shorten the 16-year term limit legislators hornswoggled voters with a few years ago.

Scott’s prepared statement:

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“I met with countless families over the course of my exploratory committee process through the Frank Discussion series and engaged residents in honest dialogue on issues impacting the progress of Little Rock. I listened to heartfelt stories from families that don’t feel safe in their community and witnessed the unease of local business owners who wonder if Little Rock could continue to support their ambition given our stagnant economic growth.

“Thank you to all of those I have spoken to and others whom I have met throughout my exploratory journey – I heard you loud and clear. And after much prayer and consideration, it was the accounts of Little Rock residents that compelled me to officially announce my candidacy for Mayor.

“I believe that Little Rock’s best days are ahead of us, and reaching them will require homegrown leadership. Fortunately, I was made in Little Rock. I am a proud product of our public schools and a longstanding member of our devoted faith community. And, I can promise that my campaign will reflect the values and steadfast drive of the residents that make me – a true son of Little Rock – proud to call this place home.

“The complexity of our problems will require a holistic approach to generate solutions and to unify our city. As a former Arkansas State Highway Commissioner, I know what can be achieved when City Hall makes smart infrastructure investments in an effort to reach our true potential. As a local banker, I know what can be achieved when City Hall and small businesses work together to grow the local economy. And as an associate pastor, I know what can be achieved when City Hall, public schools, and the faith community work in coordination to save our youth before losing them to the streets.

“I am inspired by the energy and momentum our journey has generated thus far, and I look forward to continuing to spread our vision for a prosperous, united Little Rock.”