The filing deadline for the 2016 elections in Arkansas was on November 9th. Arkansas will have a U.S. Senate election and election U.S. representative in each of the state’s four congressional districts. Interestingly, only one of the four districts, the second district, has a Democratic candidate challenging the incumbent Republican. The remaining three districts have only Libertarian Party (LP) challengers on the ballot. Baptist bi-vocational pastor Mark West is the Libertarian candidate in the first district, Chris Hayes is the LP nominee in the second district, 2014 Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Nathan LaFrance is running in the third district, and Kerry Hicks is the LP contender in the fourth district. Two write-in candidates, Charles Neely and Michael Wescott, are running in district two along with Democrat Dianne Curry.
Three two-way congressional races mean that the Arkansas Libertarian Party has a very good chance at breaking 20% of the vote in at least one of the districts races, and possibly all of them. Arkansas has a history of third party candidates performing well in two-way races. In 2008 Rebekah Kennedy won 20.47% of the vote against Democrat Mark Pryor in the U.S. Senate election (the Green Party’s highest percentage for a Senate race), and in 2010 Kennedy received 26.79% in the state attorney general election. Greens Mary Hughes-Willis and Bobby Tullis received 29.35% and 32.48% in races for state auditor and state treasurer, respectively.