Republican State Rep. Mark Lowery of Maumelle announced today as a candidate for secretary of state against Republican incumbent John Thurston. He rounded up a dozen or so people for his announcement at a barbecue restaurant.

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Good news. Lowery, the chief architect of vote suppression legislation in the 2021 session (along with efforts to limit the topics children could be exposed to in public schools, such as the history of slavery or sex education), will not return to the House in 2023.

Bad news. If he’s elected, he’ll be the state’s overseer of elections —  a particularly dangerous role for those who favor more voting by a more diverse electorate.

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Hopeful news:

A good Democratic candidate is in the wings, with an announcement planned next week. He’s Joshua Ang Price, a defender of voting rights who served a long and distinguished (for patience in recent months particularly) time as the minority Democratic member of the Pulaski County Election Commission. He’s fully certified in voter training. He faces an uphill run as all Democrats do, but his energy and knowledge are positives.

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