Ben Gilmore, deputy chief of staff to Republican Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, has announced he’ll challenge Democratic Sen. Eddie Cheatham of Crossett for his District 26 Senate seat.

Gilmore also claims Crossett as home and lists a string of civic activities. He invokes the usual GOP mantra: “I will fight to protect life, the 2nd Amendment, and defend Arkansas values.”

His news release came from his brother, Jon Gilmore, who advises and raises money for Gov. Asa Hutchinson and whose firm lobbies on various state issues, such as representing a law firm seeking lucrative state retirement fund business.

With nephew Jeremy gone from the Senate, the governor needs to shore up the Hutchinson posse’s numbers in the legislature. Still serving are his nephew and niece, Sen. Jim Hendren, and Hendren’s sister, Rep. Gayla McKenzie.

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Griffin will be running for governor in 2020. Republicans currently hold a 26-9 advantage in the Senate.