Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter has rescinded his announcement to run for District 75 state representative.
Baxter changed his mind about a run for the District 75 seat after speaking to Greenwood City Council member Dr. Lee Johnson, who also announced his intention to run for the legislative position, Baxter said.
Baxter made his announcement to run as a Republican for the seat last week and it ran in the June 7 edition of the Press Argus-Courier.
But in a June 11 Facebook post, Baxter wrote that he had decided not to run.
Baxter wrote he had spoke about an hour with Johnson, an emergency room doctor with Sparks Health System, who feels it is “God’s will for him to give up his medical practice” to be the District 75 representative.
“After hearing his testimony, we believe he is the person who should run for the District 75 House Seat (sic),” Baxter wrote.
Baxter was struck by Johnson’s decision to give up his practice, he said. Baxter also did not want to cause division within his social group, as he and the doctor have many of the same friends, he said.
“I feel like that’s the honorable thing to do and the right thing to do, is let someone else take the mantle who will do well,” Baxter said. “I’m happy with that.”
Johnson also assured Baxter that he would work to represent the entire district including Crawford County, Baxter said.
Baxter made the decision to run for the Arkansas House of Representatives after learning from State Rep. Charlotte Douglas that she had decided not to run for a fourth term for the District 75 seat, he said.
District 75 covers Mulberry, Kibler and Dyer in Crawford County and all or parts of Greenwood, Lavaca, Central City, Barling and Chaffee Crossing in Sebastian County.
Baxter is serving his second four-year term as mayor of Mulberry. He is not yet thinking about about the 2018 mayor’s race, he said.
“My plans are to continue on with what I’m doing,” Baxter said. “I just want to do the best job I can of what I’m doing.”