LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Even before the polls closed two weeks ago, Democrats and Republicans were already thinking about the next election. A term-limited incumbent means the field for the secretary of state's race could be crowded in 2010.
Democrats face the prospect of at least six candidates vying for the job. Republicans are hoping to recruit candidates for one of the highest spots on the ballot in 2010. Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, a Democrat, is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Already, Sebastian County Clerk Doris Tate, a Democrat, has announced for the spot, and several others are weighing a race.
State Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox, who's also leaving his office due to term limits, says he's likely to run for secretary of state. Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien and state Senator Hank Wilkins of Pine Bluff, both Democrats, also both say they're considering a run for the office. Other names on the Democratic side include state Senators Steve Faris of Malvern and Tracy Steele of North Little Rock.
Faris and Steele both say they're keeping their options open. Republicans don't have any definite candidates so far, but the possibilities include Deena Burnett Bailey. Her husband Tom Burnett died on hijacked Flight 93 in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Bailey was appointed by the party to the state Election Commission, but she has not said whether she's considering a run for the post.