On the front steps of the Faulkner County Courthouse on Tuesday, state land commissioner Mark Wilcox announced his candidacy for secretary of state.
"We're ready for this challenge," Wilcox said. "We got things to do. Arkansas is a lot better than a lot of the states throughout the nation. We keep improving that by sending young people to the Capitol. I'm ready for this race. We've got huge support throughout the state."
Earlier Tuesday, Wilcox held a similar announcement at the Capitol in Little Rock.
More than 100 supporters braved warm temperatures to wish Wilcox well in his campaign.
"Here's a hometown boy who has done good," supporter and former board president of the Conway School District Terry Fiddler said. "He's proved his worth as land commissioner. He went down there and said, 'I'm gonna be Mark Wilcox.' Six years later, he's still Mark Wilcox. That's what separates a politician from a servant of the people. And that's what he is."
Wilcox is running for office held by Charlie Daniels, who is term-limited. Wilcox said Daniels' work as secretary of state has made Arkansas' election process more efficient.
"As secretary of state, I'll continue to move our voting process into the 21st Century, ensuring that every single vote is counted and every single election result is fair and accurate while protecting the private information of Arkansas voters," Wilcox said in a news release.
Greenbrier High School principal Susan Jackson introduced Wilcox Tuesday afternoon.
"Knowing Mark from our childhood together in Greenbrier and with his nearly two decades in county and state government, Mark has proven that his hard work ethic and hands on management style are what we need at the Capitol," Jackson said.
Wilcox served 12 years on the Faulkner County Quorum Court, a decade as the county tax collector and six years as state land commissioner.
Wilcox and his wife, Lisa, have one son, Dustin, a daughter-in-law, Brandi, and a grandson Braxton "Cruz" Wilcox.They are members of Lifesong Baptist Church in Greenbrier.