(EXCELSIOR) A western Arkansas outdoorsman and former radio host announced Monday that he will launch a primary challenge against the Republican majority leader of the Arkansas House.
Jim Reynolds, 53, sent members of the media a short statement explaining his decision to challenge the incumbent majority leader, state Rep. Marcus Richmond, R-Harvey, after a career spent in various roles, including as a retired educator, coach and principal, and more recently as the host of the Jim Reynolds Outdoors radio show. Reynolds runs an advertising business.
The two candidates will vie for the Republican nomination in sprawling House District 21, which stretches across parts of seven counties in west-central Arkansas, and which is covered in large part by the Ouachita National Forest.
Richmond, a cattle farmer, has represented the district since 2015. Reynolds said he lives in the Excelsior community near Greenwood, in the northern part of the district.
Reynolds declined to discuss issues where he disagreed with Richmond’s positions, or any votes that he would have cast differently, explaining that he was still building a campaign.
However, pointing to his experience as a coach and former school principal, Reynolds said he would focus a large part of his campaign on education and stated that he opposed school vouchers.
Reynolds also stated that he would work with state government to promote tourism and recreation in the district. In his press release, Reynolds identified himself as a life-long member of the National Rifle Association, and a “staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment.”
Reynolds is also an area director for the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association.