Another week closer to the elections for Arkansas 2022. We hope that you were able to check out the candidate debates last week and learn more about the candidates that are currently running for positions this November. Continuing the second week of this series of getting to know the positions and candidates, the next that will be discussed are the attorney general and secretary of state.
The Arkansas Attorney General takes on many roles. This person will serve as Arkansas’s lawyer, chief law enforcement and chief consumer advocate. They are responsible for enforcing federal and state environmental laws. They represent the state and state agencies before the state and federal courts. They propose legislation and act as public advocates in areas such as child support enforcement, antitrust, consumer protections and utility regulation. They handle criminal appeals and serious statewide criminal prosecutions.
There are a lot of other duties that are required of the attorney general on a day-to-day basis. Only one person can hold the office of attorney general, and they are required to be an experienced licensed attorney in the state of Arkansas.
· Jess Gibson (D): Gibson earned his B.S. in business administration in 1996 from the University of Arkansas. He earned his J.D. degree from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. He then founded the Gibson Law Firm in 2002.
· Tim Griffin (R): Griffin was first elected lieutenant governor in 2014 and is currently serving his second term. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District.
Secretary of State
The secretary of state is Arkansas’ Chief Election Officer. This position has grown as Arkansas has grown. This role was originally the state’s primary record keeper. Now, the person that holds this position maintains the state’s election records, supervises voter registration and electronic voting systems and collects campaign finance reports from candidates, donors and interest groups. They are also responsible for registering businesses, maintaining the state capitol and managing capitol police. There are lots of other duties that are required of the secretary of state. Just like many other positions the requirements to run for this position is to be a United States citizen, a resident of Arkansas and be at least 18 years old.
· Anna Beth Gorman (D): Gorman became the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Executive Director in 2016. Prior to taking on this role, she served as chief membership volunteer program Officer for the Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
· John Thurston (R) Incumbent: Thurston is a lifelong resident of Saline County. He is currently serving his first term as secretary of state. He has previously served as Arkansas Commissioner of State lands for eight years.