LITTLE ROCK — A Fayetteville man who runs a nonprofit organization said Monday he will run as a Democrat for the 3rd District congressional seat now held by Republican Steve Womack of Rogers.


Joshua Mahony said he chose to announce his 2018 candidacy at this time in response to the House’s vote last week to repeal and replace major sections of the federal Affordable Care Act.


“We’re announcing early because good Arkansans should not and will not stand for the GOP Congress’ recent vote to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Mahony said in a video posted Monday to his campaign’s Facebook page.


Mahony said hundreds of thousands of Arkansans depend on the state’s Medicaid expansion program, which was created as an alternative to the expansion of state Medicaid rolls envisioned in the law known as Obamacare. The program provides government-subsidized private health insurance to Arkansans earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.


A bill to repeal and replace much of the federal law passed Thursday in the House with the support of all four of Arkansas’ congressmen. The Senate has not voted on the measure.


“Obamacare isn’t perfect, but leaving Arkansans without health-care coverage is not the way we were raised here in Arkansas. I believe that a thoughtful, positive approach to improving Obamacare is the best way forward,” Mahony said.


Mahony also said he will hold a summer listening tour and said groups around the state are welcome to invite him to meet with them and listen to their concerns about what is happening in Washington and how it affects Arkansans.


According to his campaign website, Mahony is president of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund a nonprofit that provides assistance to single parents who are enrolled in college or technical programs and are seeking better-paying careers.


Born and raised in El Dorado, Mahony has lived in Fayetteville for the past 17 years. He is married to Rhianon DeLeeuw.


Mahony is running in a district that has long been considered a Republican stronghold. A Democrat has not represented the district since 1967.