Who is running for lieutenant governor in Arkansas? Meet the candidates
Two Republicans have announced bids to seek the nomination for Arkansas lieutenant governor.
The general election is set for Nov. 8, 2022. As of Feb. 10, 2021, no Democrats have announced a bid for lieutenant governor.
Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2022, has announced he will run for attorney general.
Dr. Greg Bledsoe
Bledsoe, 47, was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson as the state's surgeon general in 2015. He is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and has been an instructor and medical consultant for the United States Secret Service.
After completing medical school and residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Bledsoe spent five years on faculty in the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine completing a two-year fellowship in International Emergency Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2005, he received the “Teacher of the Year” award from the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine.
Bledsoe's international medical experience includes serving as a field physician in Honduras, teaching disaster preparedness in Tanzania, leading a nutritional survey among the Beja tribe in northeast Sudan, working as a medical consultant in Beijing, and acting as the medical officer for ships in both Antarctica and the Arctic. He is the chief editor of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, a 700-page medical text published by Cambridge University Press in the spring of 2008.
In addition to his clinical duties, Bledsoe was the personal physician to former President Bill Clinton during Clinton’s tour of Africa in September 2002 and served in Uganda and Senegal on the advance team of President George W. Bush when the President visited the African continent in July of 2003.
According to his LinkedIn page, Bledsoe’s research has been published in many prestigious medical journals. He is a frequent public speaker regarding health issues, and also is a private pilot, a scuba diver, an Eagle Scout, a student in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a member of The Explorers Club.
Attorney general race: Meet the candidates running to replace Leslie Rutledge
State Sen. Jason Rapert
Rapert announced his intentions to run for lieutenant governor in 2019. He represents Senate District 35 serving the City of Conway and portions of Faulkner County and Perry County.
Following Bledsoe's announcement, Rapert said he welcomed the opportunity to differentiate his conservative record and specified he is for "protecting Arkansas consumers, promoting our state's energy resources, cutting taxes to help Arkansas families, fighting for our religious freedom, and protecting the unborn."
Rapert was first elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2010 and has become one of the most outspoken opponents of abortion. He is currently chairman of the Arkansas Senate State Agencies Committee, member of Joint Budget and Revenue & Tax Committees, past chair of Insurance & Commerce Committee, and past president of the bipartisan National Council of Insurance Legislators.
Rapert and his wife Laurie attended the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. While at UCA, he served on the Student Judicial Board and as a congressional intern in the office of former 2nd Congressional District U.S. Rep. Ray Thornton.
After 20 years in the insurance and financial services industry, he now owns Rapert Financial and Associates. He consults in the financial services industry on an as-needed basis.
In the 2013 legislative session, Rapert joined the Senate leadership and was the lead sponsor of Act 301, the Human Heartbeat Protection Act. It prohibits abortions when the physician can detect a heartbeat using ultrasound at 12 weeks unless exceptions are met. It is one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States, according to Rapert's biography at the Arkansas Legislature website. In 2019 he co-sponsored Act 180, the Human Life Protection Act to prohibit abortion in Arkansas, and Act 493, the Cherish Act to prohibit abortions after 18 weeks of gestation.
Rapert sponsored Act 1088 to set higher standards of accountability and transparency for financial transactions made by the state Treasurer’s Office. This reform legislation enhanced the oversight of the State Board of Finance and increased checks and balances related to the Treasurer's Office. He was the lead Senate sponsor of Act 1450, Gov. Mike Beebe’s bill to repeal the state sales tax on groceries as soon as certain state financial obligations are met. He also sponsored Act 1213 to place a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.
As chairman of Insurance and Commerce, during regular sessions he sponsors legislation to update laws regulating the insurance industry and to modernize policies at the state Insurance Department. Rapert is a member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) and was elected by his peers as treasurer of the NCOIL for 2014 and president in 2017-2018. He is the founder and former president of Holy Ghost Ministries, Inc. (HGM), a faith-based humanitarian missions organization providing clean water and assistance to the poor and orphans in Ghana West Africa, Uganda and the Philippines.