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Things to Watch For in Arkansas Politics

Republicans have an almost-supermajority in the Legislature and are looking to next November with positivity. We have several seats to flip and Doyle Webb, chairman of the RPA said in an interview with Arkansas Online that the part is looking at some seats in northwest Arkansas as well as some seats down south.

Here are some key things to note and watch for over the coming months:

  • Republicans are looking to take control of a majority of county-level seats. Democrats still hold more than half of those offices.

  • As of late last week, two Republicans, Wade Andrews of Camden and Ricky Lattimore of McGehee, had announced plans to run for Democratic-held seats in the Legislature.

  • Democrats have plans to challenge sitting Republicans in 20 state legislative races.

  • Primary and nonpartisan elections will be held on May 22, 2018 - with the general election on 11/6.

  • Republicans control 76 of the 135 seats in the Arkansas Legislature, as well as the Governor's Mansion, and every partisan statewide and federal elected office.

  • In the biggest Arkansas race of 2018, against Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Democratic candidate has yet to step forward with definitive plans.

  • In 2018, all 100 House seats and the four U.S. House seats will be up for election; 18 state Senate seats will be available, but no U.S. Senate seats will be in contention (unless Cotton leaves office and a special election is called).

  • 2018 campaign issues will most likely focus around health care, Medicaid expansion, tax cuts, and the recently passed computer science education initiative that the governor recently passed.

  • For the Democrats, a top issue in 2018 will be Republican efforts to expand charter schools and school voucher programs and increased funding for roads, schools, and other infrastructure.

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