Former Republican Party chair Doyle Webb of Benton has announced as a candidate for lieutenant governor, joining Sen. Jason Rapert and Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe in the GOP primary race.
I’d guess this suggests an end to lobbying by assorted Republicans to encourage Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to drop her primary race for governor and clear the field for presumptive favorite Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Webb, of late, had been making $150,000 a year working on legislative redistricting for Rutledge (though there hasn’t been much work to be done until final Census numbers are in.) The Associated Press, in reporting Webb’s candidacy, said he’d submitted his resignation Friday from the job with Rutledge. Still, hard to imagine he’d jump to a race she may yet make.
Webb, a former state senator, has another family member on the state payroll, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Webb, who’s declined to step off cases involving her husband’s employer. His sister-in-law, Becky Keogh, was tapped by Governor Hutchinson to be head of the Department of Environmental Quality.
It will be interesting if Webb’s spotty ethical record becomes an issue in the primary. An accounting of his $40,000 worth of taxpayer-financed work for Rutledge since mid-January might be worth asking.
No Democrats have announced for the position, which is being vacated by term-limited Tim Griffin. He’s running for attorney general against Republican Leon Jones Jr. Jason Davis has announced as a Democrat.