Mighty Martha Shoffner, the state treasurer,
alone among incumbents escaped a challenger at the close of party filing for office this year. (Correction: Atty. Gen. Dustin McDaniel also was unopposed.)
Since then, she's shot herself in both feet with a defensive and incoherent response to Autogate, the sudden wide attention on a practice of decades standing of providing free state cars to statewide elected officials. The cars have not been declared as an income supplement, which they plainly are, though a couple of careful politicians have paid the IRS voluntarily over the years (Mike Beebe and Bill Halter).
I sense that Autogate has struck an electoral nerve. Particularly against those who've been perceived as arrogant in answering questions. Shoffner's gaffe could be one of those freakish single-issue silver bullets for an opponent, if she had one. (If the treasurer doesn't respect tax law who will?)
Maybe she will face an opponent. I caught a rumor from a well-placed source this morning that former state Rep. Bobby Tullis, who ran a close race for state auditor against Gus Wingfield in 1994, might try to get into the race. How? The Green Party meets later this month to choose a slate of candidates.
Tullis is back home in Mineral Springs, retired from a courthouse research business he started in 1997. He'd tell the Green Party that he's a believer in environmental issues, but that this race is about qualifications for handling a clerical office, not foreign policy. True that.