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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:21 pm 
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State News

Ark. businessman joins GOP field for US Senate

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:47 PM CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A Searcy businessman says he's seeking the Republican party's nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln next year.

Fred Ramey told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he plans to file federal papers later this week to make his Senate candidacy official. Ramey, 39, owns a real estate investment company in Searcy and is a driver for Federal Express in Little Rock.

Ramey said he's never run for elected office before.

"I've thought about running for something before, but hadn't decided what," he said. "It just didn't feel right at the time. But with the state that the country is in right now, this has affected me as well."

Ramey joins a growing field of Republicans eyeing a chance to take on Lincoln next year. State Sen. Kim Hendren of Gravette and Tom Cox, a Little Rock businessman, have said they will seek the Republican nomination as well.

Curtis Coleman, CEO of Safe Foods in Little Rock, has formed an exploratory committee and said he is likely to seek the party's nomination. Coleman, who managed Mike Huckabee's failed 1992 bid for the U.S. Senate, said Tuesday that he's hired the former governor's daughter-in-law, Lauren Huckabee, as his exploratory committee's chief of staff.

State Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway, a former chairman of the state Republican Party, also said he's considering joining the Senate race.

Former interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin said last month he didn't plan to run for the Senate seat but could change his mind later.

Several potential candidates were expected to speak at a forum Tuesday night in Bentonville.

Lincoln, who is seeking a third term, already has $2.3 million in the bank for her re-election bid.

A service of the Associated Press(AP) ... 0h52o0.txt

The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution is a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.
James Madison, September 1829

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