The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Michael Wickline reported Tuesday that state Rep. Eddie Armstrong (D-North Little Rock) won’t be running for re-election to the General Assembly in 2018. Armstrong, a former leader of the Democratic minority in the state House of Representatives, had held the House District 37 seat in 2013.
Armstrong announced his decision on Friday, Sept. 1. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “Today is not a decision to leave the service of my community, but a decision to dedicate more time to serving my wife, Sherra and our growing son, Edison Drake.”
Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Michael John Gray, who is also the house minority leader, said that Scott was active in her community and around the party. “When Eddie ran, there were three people in that primary, so I anticipate there will be more than one candidate,” Gray said. “You have to give [Scott] the early nod as the frontrunner.”
However, he added, “primaries are good for candidates, good for the voters … and we’re going to be absolutely neutral in the primaries.”
Mike Wickline sought a comment from another possible candidate for the open seat: former legislator and perennial North Little Rock politico Tracy Steele. (Steele was a Dem when he served in the legislature, but if he were to run this time around, would he do so as a Republican?) Here’s the response:
— Mike Wickline (@MikeWickline) September 6, 2017
Here’s Armstrong’s full announcement:
As my third term comes to an end in the Arkansas House of Representatives on behalf of the wonderful District 37, it is with deep pride and strong sentiments of respect and love for my community that I have decided to not seek re-election. I have had the honor to serve District 37, and to work hard to bring new endeavors, build community relationships, and improve the economic strength in District 37. Your votes, donations, and support allowed me to serve you on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, the House Insurance and Commerce Committee, and the Joint Budget Committee for the 91st General Assembly.
Additionally, I served as the House Minority Leader during the 90th General Assembly. I have dedicated my career to serving and being lead by North Little Rock and portions of Pulaski County. Today is not a decision to leave the service of my community, but a decision to dedicate more time to serving my wife, Sherra and our growing son, Edison Drake. I thank you all for your years of support, dedication, and joint work to reach our goals. North Little Rock will always be my home, and I shall always serve North Little Rock. It is merely time for a new focus on our families’ service to the community.
Yours in service,
Eddie L. Armstrong
And here’s Scott’s statement declaring her intention to run:
My name is Jamie Scott. With deep humility, an abiding desire to serve the people, and a work ethic to get the job done, I am running for the Arkansas House of Representatives, District 37. As I make public my intention, I salute and thank Rep. Eddie Armstrong for his service to District 37 and wish his family and him the very best as they continue their life’s journey.
I have not come to this decision lightly. I know the hard work required but understand there is always more to learn. But more important than anything else, it is essential that you know this campaign will be about Us. What we need. What we want. What we can be. I am clear that I need you, your support and your prayers.
I am a lifelong resident of North Little Rock. It is the home that I love. It is where I live by choice. I am ready to work and represent all of District 37. I humbly ask you for your support so, together, We will be our strongest force for shaping our future.