Paragould Lieutenant Governor Hopeful First in Line on Political Filing Day

MARCH 21, 2006 - Posted at 5:01 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - With the clanging of a bronze bell from a locomotive, Arkansas' campaign filing season opened today with candidates already in line to sign up for this year's races.

Senator Tim Wooldridge of Paragould, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor, was the first candidate in line after arriving at the Capitol early today.

For the next two weeks, political hopefuls will file papers with the Secretary of State's office to formally announce their candidacies.  Party primaries will be held May 23, runoffs will be three weeks later and the general election is November 7.

U.S. Representative Marion Berry, a Democrat, filed his papers for re-election today.  Berry, a Democrat whose First District includes much of eastern Arkansas, faces a challenge from two Republicans from Cabot, Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh and Patrick D'Andrea.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)