Darr says his political future depends on ‘other people’


LITTLE ROCK — Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr said Tuesday he has decided what political office he will seek in 2014 but won’t tell until others disclose their political plans.

“I think right now, I believe I’ve made my decision but out of respect I have to let other people say what they want to do first,” Darr told reporters.

Darr, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2010, said previously that he would consider running for the 4th District congressional seat, now occupied by U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, if Cotton decided to run for the U.S. Senate.

Cotton has been mentioned as the most likely GOP opponent for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Little Rock, but has not said when he will decide. His campaign had $1,045,372 cash on hand at the end of June he could use to run for re-election or for the Senate.

Darr had $18,474 on hand for a re-election bid at the end of June.

Pressed to divulge his political plans Tuesday, the lieutenant governor said he enjoys the job “and I still look forward to doing that.”

“Obviously I’m not going to run against Congressman Tom Cotton. I think he’s doing a fantastic job. I do think he would be a fantastic senator, but that’s not my decision for him,” Darr said. “I’ve got to do what’s right for me and my family but I will make my announcement after he makes his announcement.”

Darr talked with reporters after a news conference at the state Capitol, at which he discussed his sponsorship with six other lieutenant governors at the National Lieutenant Governors Association meeting last week of a resolution supporting the federal School Food Modernization Act.

The law offers low-interest loans and grants to public schools to modernize cafeteria equipment to serve more nutritious meals to students.