CLARKE TUCKER: In House race.
There's a new candidate in the race for state House District 35
held by term-limited Democrat John Edwards.
A formal announcement will come later, but Clarke Tucker,
an associate in the Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull and Burrow law firm, says he will make the race as a Democrat.
One Democrat, Jodie Mahony,
son of the late veteran legislator from El Dorado, has already announced. He got off to a slow start in fund-raising, with only $5,600 reported in his first filing.
On the Republican side, Little Rock City Director Stacy Hurst has announced
. She' says she's raised $100,000 already, with Stephens money reportedly notable among many contributors from establishment Republican quarters, but she hasn't filed a report yet. It's a seat the GOP desperately hopes to pick up in the course of maintaining their narrow majority in the House. Similarly, the Democrats can ill afford to lose a seat currently in their column.
Tucker has long had an interest in politics, but had wavered on this race because of a young family and potential interest from other Democrats who've now decided not to run. His background includes
student body president at Central High, student president of the Kennedy Institute of Politics while a student at Harvard and editor of the University of Arkansas Law Review.
The District includes the Heights area, but sprawls west beyond Pinnacle Mountain and dips deeply into neighborhoods south of Cantrell to south of Markham Street in a corridor along the east side of Interstate 430. It was drawn to add some Democratic neighborhoods to the historically Democrat-leaning territory.
Should Tucker and Hurst be the contestants, it will be an expensive and interesting race. Hurst has told friends she considers herself a moderate. Issues on which Little Rock voters have tended to split from Republican orthodoxy — health care, President Obama himself, abortion, gay rights, and more — are high on the list of items worth discussing.
Personal disclosure: I've known Clarke since he was a kid. His mother, Becky Tucker,
worked for a number of years as a law clerk for my wife Ellen. I first met his father, real estate developer and property manager Rett Tucker,
when we were classmates in college.