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LITTLE ROCK — A former Arkansas senator said Monday that he would run for the Republican nomination for secretary of state, the second to challenge the incumbent in next year's GOP primary.

Former state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams announced his bid for the seat currently held by Republican Secretary of State John Thurston, who was first elected in 2018. Thurston already faced a primary challenge from Rep. Mark Lowery.

Joshua Price, a former Pulaski County election commissioner, is the only Democrat running for the seat.

Williams said he was running to "make sure our elections are fair, honest, and always transparent." The former Cabot mayor was elected to the state Senate in 2010 and was the chamber's first Republican majority leader after the GOP won a Senate majority in 2012.

Williams left the Legislature after former President Donald Trump appointed him in 2017 to be the federal representative to the Southern States Energy Board. The non-profit organization focuses on energy issues in 16 Southern states.

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