Kristi Stahr’s resignation from the Pulaski County Election Commission — unrelated to the lawsuit over her refusal to hire an election worker because of his political beliefs — suggests a political future.

Her resignation letter said:

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While my second term does not end until December 31 of 2022, Monday, January 31 will be my last day to serve on the Board. Simply put, I am ready for new challenges, which I do not think would be appropriate to accept, if available, while serving on the Board.

Election commissioners can’t run for political office. The Republican Party has been spoiling to take seats from Democrats in Pulaski County. County/Circuit Clerk Terri Hollingsworth has been a particular target because of that office’s role in managing voter rolls. Republican election commissioners often complained about Hollingsworth’s office, particularly its efforts during the pandemic to aid people in absentee voting. Republicans do not like increased voter participation through absentee voting and passed a variety of new state laws aimed at discouraging the expansion of the franchise in Arkansas.

The Times’ Austin Bailey predicts Stahr will run for the clerk’s office. It’s a reasonable guess. She once worked in the clerk’s office. Stahr hasn’t responded to my question about her plans. Hollingsworth is seeking re-election.

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Stahr claimed several achievements in office, summarized in a D-G article this morning. She omitted a reprimand by the Republican-controlled state Election Commission for election law violations that occurred in 2020.

PS: There is also the state House seat a Democrat, Ashley Hudson picked up in 2020 over efforts by Republicans to steal her narrow victory.

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