|Updated: 2/23/2012 5:47 pm
||Published: 2/23/2012 4:15 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Thursday kicks off what could be a year of major political change in Arkansas. Largely a party in the shadows of Arkansas state politics for decades, the GOP thinks this is the year they become the majority for the first time ever.
You want to become an elected official in Arkansas, it starts on the second floor of the state capitol. Sure there is some paperwork, but also a fair amount of pageantry
Secretary of State Mark Martin kicked off the filing period at noon on Thursday.
“You walk into this building and this room itself. I think it begins to settle on them the magnitude and the immensity, responsibility they're beginning to participate in."
First in line to greet him was someone who's done this once before, state representative David Meeks (R-Conway).
“It symbolizes number one the Republicans are ready to get the majority and for me it symbolizes that I'm ready to work on my re-election campaign to take my message back to the people and my conservative record," Meeks says.
That's what you'll hear a lot of today.
Republicans think they can pick up 5 seats to take control of the House, and 3 seats for the Senate in the General Assembly.
But Democrats say they expect to turn the tables on the GOP tide.
"Part of what we need to do is remind folks of the job we've done and also talk about the future of Arkansas," Will Bond with the Arkansas Democratic Party says.
And that future will be a lot clearer once voters decide on May 22 during the primary and in the November general election who will represent them in Little Rock.
The filing period ends on March 1 at 12pm.