State Representative Mark Lowery de Maumelle announced on Friday that he would seek the Republican nomination for Arkansas state treasurer, three days after dropping out of the race for secretary of state.
In a written statement, Lowery said he had decided over the past month that there was no way forward in the race for secretary of state, but was buoyed by the support that he had received during his statewide campaign.
Lowery was one of two main challengers to Republican Secretary of State John Thurston, who is seeking a second term, along with former state senator Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot. Lowery’s latest campaign finance report, filed Tuesday, showed he raised the fewest candidates in that race in the fourth quarter.
He is the second Republican to announce a candidacy for state treasurer. State Sen. Mat Pitsch, R-Fort Smith, launched his campaign for treasurer last February.
The incumbent, Republican Dennis Milligan, is term-limited and is running as a state auditor. No Democratic candidate has been announced for the position of state treasurer.
Lowery said the people of Arkansas are concerned about the direction the country and the state are taking on fiscal restraint.
“While tax cut decisions and the size of state government are political decisions beyond the control of the state treasurer, I think the Arkansans will give me the bully pulpit to say we we can do better,” Lowery said.
As a lawmaker, Lowery said he actively participated in discussions about budget restrictions and the proper allocation of resources.
“My background as a strong fiscal conservative in the Arkansas House of Representatives positions me as Arkansans Republicans can be trusted to serve as state treasurer,” he said. “I voted to cut Arkansans taxes, limit spending and oppose major government programs.”
He added that many Arkansans are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic and the weak economy.
“Like them, I work daily to overcome these financial challenges. I believe the Arkansans need leaders in the state capitol — not just in the legislative chambers — who understand this reality.”
Lowery is the sponsor of the state’s Voter ID Act and sponsored a series of bills tightening voting restrictions in 2021, accomplishments he touted in his bid for secretary of state. .
Regarding the money he raised for his run for secretary of state, Lowery said by phone Friday that he called the contributors and asked if they wanted to transfer it to the treasurer race.
Pitsch called Lowery’s change in racing an “interesting move” but welcomed him into the race.
“I look forward to demonstrating the difference between the contestants both on a personal and public level, particularly in regards to financial management and skills,” Pitsch said.
Lowery was first elected to the Legislature in 2012. Since then, he has been fined three times by the Arkansas Ethics Commission for failing to file timely campaign finance reports. .
In 2020, he attributed his failure to file a campaign finance report in a timely manner to vision problems and difficulty using the Secretary of State’s online campaign finance filing system.
In 2016, he was fined for failing to file nine campaign finance returns on time, which he said resulted from a misunderstanding of reporting requirements as an unopposed candidate for the primary that year.
In 2013, he was fined for failing to file a timely campaign financial return in the 2012 primary.
The Arkansas State Treasurer is paid $95,693.73 a year. The Treasurer serves as the state’s banker and is responsible for an investment portfolio of approximately $4.5 billion.