AR Briefly

Arkansas secretary of state to run for state treasurer in ’24

By: - August 9, 2023 12:22 pm
Anti-abortion activists celebrate Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court ended a woman's right to abortion.

The Arkansas State Capitol. (Getty Images)

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston said Wednesday that he will run in next year’s special election for state treasurer, an office that was left vacant last month with the death of Treasurer Mark Lowery.

Thurston’s announcement comes less than a year after he was elected to a second four-year term as secretary of state. He is the first person to announce his intention to run for the office.

Prior to his 2018 election as secretary, Thurston, a Republican, served eight years as Arkansas’ commissioner of state lands.

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston

“It has been my honor to represent and serve the citizens of Arkansas as Secretary of State since 2019 and as Commissioner of State Lands for the eight years preceding,” Thurston said in a statement. “It is my intent to continue to serve the people of Arkansas with the same trust and integrity that they have come to know and expect from my administration.”

Arkansas’ treasurer is the state’s banker, responsible for an investment portfolio of approximately $9 billion, according to the office’s website.

Lowery, a former Republican state representative from Maumelle, was in his first year in the office when he suffered a pair of strokes in recent months. He died on July 26.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders appointed Larry Walther last week to be the interim treasurer until 2025. Walther had been the head of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration since 2015.

If elected, Thurston said he will use his experience modernizing and transitioning constitutional offices.

“I am confident that with my experience and dedication to the people of Arkansas, I can continue to serve our state well in the role of State Treasurer,” said Thurston. “As State Treasurer, I will continue to stand by my commitment to outstanding customer service, serving as a good steward of taxpayer’s funds, advancing the technological resources available to businesses, and streamlining our online systems that serve Arkansans, state agencies, and other stakeholders.”

Thurston, of East End, was a minister prior to entering politics.

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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.