LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock officials are requesting that a state ethics panel reconsider examining how a city election rule fits within Arkansas campaign law.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission has 90 days from receiving the request to issue a response, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .

The issue arose after a local resident filed a complaint in August, alleging that Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, is violating a city ordinance as he explores a run for mayor. The complaint contended that the ordinance restricts any candidate for municipal office in the 2018 election from accepting campaign donations before June 2018.

City Attorney Tom Carpenter said Arkansas allows cities to set stricter requirements, meaning candidates running for mayor or a city board member position in Little Rock must follow the city’s ordinances. He said the commission has the authority to investigate.

Sabin raised almost $75,000 as of Aug. 31. Banker Frank Scott Jr. also announced plans to run for mayor and has begun accepting contributions.

Both candidates have issued statements saying they’re following all applicable state laws and plan to continue accepting contributions.

Incumbent Mayor Mark Stodola is planning to run for re-election. He isn’t allowed to collect campaign donations until June 1, but he’s allowed to roll over funds left over from his last election cycle.

Stodola oversees city board meetings and only votes in the event of a tie. Stodola also has the power to veto.

The seven Little Rock Board of Directors seats are also up for election. No one has formally announced a run for the seats, but current members said it’s unfair that their challengers have longer to raise funds.

The mayor and board member seats will be up for election in November 2018.


This story has been corrected to show that Sabin had raised almost $75,000 as of Aug. 31, not as of Monday.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com