LITTLE ROCK — Seven candidates filed to run for the state Senate seat formerly held by Jonesboro Democrat Paul Bookout by the the noon Friday deadline, the secretary of state’s office said.
Bookout resigned from the Legislature last month amid a special prosecutor’s criminal investigation into campaign finance irregularities. The state Ethics Commission concluded the veteran lawmaker converted thousands of dollars of campaign contributions to his personal use.
Former state Rep. Ray Kidd, a Democrat from Jonesboro, was the final candidate to file for the eastern Arkansas Senate seat by Friday’s deadline. The filing period began at noon Tuesday.
Three other Democrats and three Republicans also filed this week.
The party primary elections will be held Oct. 8 and a runoff, if necessary, is scheduled for Nov. 12. The general election is Jan. 14.
Along with Kidd, other Democrats who filed for the Senate District 21 seat were Raduis Baker of Jonesboro, superintendent of the Valley View School District; former state Sen. Gene Roebuck of Jonesboro; and Steve Rockwell of Jonesboro, who manages his family’s publishing companies.
Republicans filing for the seat were Jonesboro residents John Cooper, a retired AT&T executive; Chad Niell, CEO of Tiger Correctional Services; and Dan Sullivan, CEO of Ascent Children’s Health Services.
Bookout resigned from his job as administrative director for a Jonesboro hospital after the state Ethics Commission concluded that he spent funds from his 2012 re-election campaign — in which he ran unopposed — for purchases that included women’s clothing, golfing equipment and an $8,000 home entertainment system.
Bookout, who was fined $8,000 for violating four state statutes — the maximum $2,000 fine for each violation — resigned from office the day after a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate his campaign finances.