Saline Co. Circuit Clerk Making Run for Arkansas Treasurer

Saline Co. Circuit Clerk Making Run for Arkansas Treasurer

Dennis Milligan files paperwork to explore 2014 race.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - There's a candidate considering a run for Arkansas Treasurer in 2014.

The following news release has more:

Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan filed the paperwork with the Arkansas Secretary of State on Monday afternoon to form an exploratory committee for a 2014 race for Arkansas Treasurer.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Arkansas Highway Commission Chairman R. Madison Murphy of El Dorado are the co-chairmen of Milligan’s committee.

Huckabee served as Arkansas 44th governor between 1996-2008. He served as lieutenant governor from 1993 until he became governor when then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker resigned after a felony conviction in the Whitewater Scandal.

Huckabee ran for President in 2008 and finished second behind John McCain in the Republican primary election. Huckabee currently hosts Fox News Channel’s talk show “Huckabee” and host of “The Mike Huckabee Show” on weekday afternoons for Cumulus Media Networks.

Murphy served on the Arkansas Highway Commission from 2003-2013. He is currently a member of the board for Murphy Oil, Deltic Timber Corporation and Bancorp South Inc., In addition, Murphy serves as president of the Murphy Foundation, the chairman of the Hendrix College board and was chairman of the Arkansas Citizens Commission to Streamline State Government – informally known as the Murphy Commission.

Murphy has also been active in the Next Step Foundation, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Lung Association, the Boy Scouts of America, the National Council on Economic Education, and the South Arkansas Symphony.

An exploratory committee allows a potential candidate to raise money that can be used in a race and to determine if there is enough support to officially enter the race.

Besides serving his second term as circuit clerk, Milligan is small businessmen and a former treasurer and chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas.

The current Arkansas Treasurer is Martha Shoffner. She is term-limited and cannot seek another term in that office.

“There have been some questions asked in recent months involving the investment of state money by the State Treasurer’s office. Bonds and other securities held by the state were sold before they matured. This reduced the amount of money the state received from these investments. That money was reinvested in bonds or other securities that paid a lower interest rate. Practices like this cost the state money in interest not received,” Milligan said. “This is important. Every dollar in interest the state receives from investments made by the State Treasurer is a dollar that doesn’t have to come out of the pockets of taxpayers to run state government.”

So why was this allowed to happen? Milligan asked.

“The answer is that it is difficult for the public to track what is happening with state investments administered by the State Treasurer’s Office. There is an easy fix to this,” he said. “Do you remember that Lt. Gov. Mark Darr was able to get the state check book put online for everyone with a computer or smart phone to watch? The Treasurer’s Office runs what is basically the state’s savings account. I want to put that on the Internet so such bad investments don’t happen again.”

Other members of Milligan’s exploratory committee include:
  • State Representative Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana, who also served as a chairman of the Highway Commission.
  • Former Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt of Harrison, who also served as chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas.
  • Former Arkansas First Lady Gay White of little Rock, who was married to former Gov. Frank White before his death in 2003.
  • Lana Bethune of Little Rock, wife of former Congressman Ed Bethune.
  • Charles Mazander of Benton, owner of Mazander Engineering and one of the most respected Republicans in Arkansas.
  • Princella D. Smith, currently studying homeland security in Israel, and a principal in American Pride Strategies.
During his first term as circuit clerk, Milligan established a new jury notification system that notifies jurors when they need to come to court by text message, e-mail or a call to their home or cell phone.

The Milligan Jury Notification system was so successful that the National Center for State courts in Williamsburg, VA, noticed and nominated him for the prestigious G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation. Milligan is the first Arkansan ever nominated for this national award.

KARN Radio Talk Show Host Dave Elswick has called Milligan the best circuit clerk in Arkansas.

Milligan will be a guest on the Dave Elswick Show at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The broadcast will originate at the State Capitol.

PHOTO: Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan files his paperwork to form an exploratory committee for a 2014 race for Arkansas Treasurer with Lauren Copeland, an Ethics Compliance Officers in the Election Division of the Office of Secretary of State.
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