CENTERTON -- Former state Rep. Grant Hodges, a Republican who now lives in Centerton, announced his candidacy for the new House District 14 seat in Benton County.
Hodges represented Rogers during his three terms in the House. He won his first term in 2014. He decided against running again after getting married and accepted a job at Northwest Arkansas Community College as executive director of community and government relations.
"Nearly two and a half years ago, my wife and I made a decision to take a step back from politics," Hodges said in his announcement. "We were newly married and planning for our first child, and we needed time to get our new family settled. Now, I'm getting back in the fight.
"With a new governor coming in 2023 and significant change in the Legislature, we need leaders who are prepared to join the battle and deliver real results for the people of Arkansas," Hodges' statement said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is term-limited.
The state Board of Apportionment created District 14 on Monday. The board redraws legislative district boundaries every 10 years, after each U.S. Census, with the goal of equalizing population among districts. Benton County gained population while most other counties lost, resulting in the creation of District 14 among other changes. The board consists of the sitting governor, attorney general and secretary of state.
District 14 covers all of Centerton along with much of Highfill and western Bentonville.
Hodges was the leading House sponsor of successful legislation in 2017 separating the state and federal celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday from the state celebration of Gen. Robert E. Lee's birthday.
House members run for two-year terms. Their base salary is $39,399 a year, not including per diem and expenses.
Candidate filing for partisan primaries begins Feb. 22 and ends March 1. Party primaries are set for May 24.