SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KSHV) – Senate candidate for Arkansas, Jake Bequette, headed to his first court hearing on Friday, May 13, regarding his lawsuit after his name was incorrectly listed on ballots. Bequette is suing the Arkansas Secretary of State, Arkansas State of Election Commissioners, and Craighead County Election Commissioners.
According to Bequette, Judge Mackie Pierce called the situation “deeply troubling.”
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this because this is not just about the integrity of this election for U.S. Senate for the Republican Primary in Arkansas,” Bequette told NBC6 news anchor Jezzamine Wolk. “I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any candidate in Arkansas ever again, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green Party.”
Bequette said his ideal turnout for this lawsuit is to “restore confidence in this primary.” He mentioned mailed notices, signs, and placards on voting machines and outside the polling places, as well as media engagement.
The candidate said his opponent, incumbent Senator John Boozman, has not yet reached out regarding this error, despite Bequette’s calls for action.
We have reached out to Boozman’s office for comment and are waiting to hear back.
The Arkansas Secretary of State, John Thurston, released a statement saying quote: “I am disappointed that Craighead County failed to correct the error…We discovered the misspelling of Mr. Bequette’s first name on April 28th and immediately contacted Craighead County to alert them of their mistake. We strongly advised them to correct the ballot as there was still ample time.”
When given a chance to respond to Thurston’s statement, Bequette said, “If it’s only the county’s responsibility, then why do we even have a Secretary of State?”
The Arkansas Republican Primary is on Tuesday, May 24.