The Republican Party of Arkansas re-filed a lawsuit late Thursday seeking to disqualify Democrat Jimmie Wilson from an upcoming state House election, hours after the Supreme Court gave the party another shot to challenge Wilson’s eligibility.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for the GOP allege that Wilson’s decades-old convictions for illegal use of farm loans and selling mortgaged crops make him ineligible for office under a 2016 amendment to the state’s constitution barring people who have been convicted of crimes involving “deceit, fraud or false statement.”
Wilson was pardoned for his crimes by former President Bill Clinton in 2001, which he has argued removes any barriers to his ability to hold office.
An earlier lawsuit challenging Wilson’s eligibility was dismissed in Pulaski County Circuit Court in August over procedural errors. The Supreme Court upheld that decision on Thursday, but allowed opponents to re-file another lawsuit.
Wilson’s opponent in the Nov. 3 general election, Republican David Tollett, is named as a plaintiff in the Republican’s lawsuit.
Both candidates are running in House District 12, a traditionally Democratic district centered around Helena-West Helena.