Sources: John Burkhalter to Run for Lt. Governor

- LITTLE ROCK, AR (TalkBusiness) - Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter will seek the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in 2014, Talk Business has learned.

Several sources have confirmed that Burkhalter will pursue the Arkansas Lt. Governor’s race not the Governor’s race, which has been a subject of much speculation.

With already crowded Democratic and Republican fields for Governor, there has been little mention of potential Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor. Burkhalter could use the part-time position to push for jobs and economic development, two signatures of his previous public service.

Currently, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (R) has said he plans to seek elective office in 2014, but will not seek the Governor’s nomination and “probably” would not run for the U.S. Senate. Darr could still run for a second term as Lt. Governor or he could seek a Congressional seat in the Fourth District if current Cong. Tom Cotton (R) challenges incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

On Monday, Burkhalter said he would make an announcement Tuesday afternoon to “announce his candidacy for statewide office.”

Burkhalter is a private businessman who has been very successful in engineering, contracting and property development. He and his wife, Penny, and their two children live in Little Rock and have been active in a number of charitable causes.

A former Arkansas Economic Development Commission member, he received his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1980.

He also has close political ties with former Pres. Bill Clinton and Gov. Mike Beebe.

Talk Business will update this story later today.

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