Leader Blues

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TOP STORY >> O達rien is entering state race

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer

Having cleaned up Pulaski County痴 storied election mess and made his office one of the most computer-accessible in the state, Pulaski County Circuit/County Clerk Pat O達rien will announce today that he will run for Arkansas secretary of state in the Democratic primary in May 2010.

Charlie Daniels, the current secretary of state, is term limited.

Raised in Jacksonville, O達rien began accepting campaign contributions in April, collecting more than $100,000 and a lot of goodwill in Pulaski County.

的 have fulfilled my promise to clean up the Pulaski County clerk痴 office, said O達rien. 哲ow I want to take those skills and make the secretary of state痴 office a leader in election reform and streamlined business services on a regional level.

Not only did he straighten up the election registration problems as county clerk, as circuit clerk he put civil and criminal documents online where they could be searched by anyone with Internet access.

O達rien was elected to his current position in 2004 and inherited an office under the cloud of grand jury investigations and federal consent decrees.

Within two years, the problems that crippled the office had been resolved. He was re-elected without opposition in 2006 and 2008.

He said the key to restoring stability and confidence in the clerk痴 office was simply 砥sing common sense, hard work and the latest technology.

O達rien has lived in Jacksonville since the age of three.

O達rien, an attorney, served one term as the Jacksonville representative on the Pulaski County Special School District Board. He did not run for re-election in 2003.

He was also chief of staff for the 22nd Judicial District痴 prosecuting attorney痴 office in 2003.