Rep. Sharon Dobbins of North Little Rock was expected to file for re-election today to her District 39 seat.
Surprise! Instead, her husband, former Rep. Dwayne Dobbins (that's him, though a mugshot with numbered necklace and prison orange would have been more appropriate) filed this morning for the seat. And, unless there's a surprise in the final hours before filing closes at noon, this little switcheroo will mean he has no opponent in the fall.
I guess he'll argue that he's rehabilitated.
You may recall that Dobbins resigned his seat in 2005 after admitting that he'd fondled the breasts of a 17-year-old. It was a plea bargain in which a felony sexual charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. His resignation from the House was part of the deal.
Copy and paste the link below for a story about the plea bargain. Shortly after, Dobbins began whining that it was a put-up job. The deal should have been withdrawn.
(* -- Re the headline asterisk. The reduction kept his name off the official sex offender list. Fondling a teen's breast when she comes to your house is merely a sex-related offense, but close enough for headline horseshoes, it seems to me.)
This is outrageous.
UPDATE: Party Chair Bill Gwatney suggested the 11th hour filing was underhanded and left party officials with little room to maneuver to scare up a candidate in the final 90 minutes. He said Dobbins "broke faith" with the plea bargain he made with the prosecutor by running for office again. He said he'd be working with people in Dobbins; district to find an independent candidate to run for the seat. He said he believed there was still time to gather petitions to put an independent on the ballot, though former Rep. Jim Lendall has written here that, while independents have until May to submit petitions, they had to signal intention to run by today.