LITTLE ROCK — Former state Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter filed to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat on Thursday.

LITTLE ROCK — Former state Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter filed to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat on Thursday.


Burkhalter, who owns a construction company, is the first Democrat to file for the seat. Republicans who have already filed are Reps. Debra Hobbs of Rogers, Andy Mayberry of Hensley and Congressman Tim Griffin of Little Rock.


Also filing Thursday were a Libertarian Party candidate for the 1st District congressional seat and two candidates for state attorney general.


Brian Scott Willhite of Cabot, an educator, filed for the 1st District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro. Crawford filed for re-election earlier this week.


In the race for attorney general, State Rep. Nate Steel of Nashville filed to run in the Democratic Party primary, and Leslie Rutledge of Little Rock filed to run in the Republican Party primary. The incumbent, Dustin McDaniel, can’t seek re-election because of term limits.


Republican David Sterling of North Little Rock has announced for the office but had not filed as of Thursday afternoon.


Thursday was fourth day of the filing period, which runs through Monday. Some 352 candidates have filed, including 39 Thursday, for 265 federal, state, district and nonpartisan judicial positions up for election this year. The primary election is May 20 and the general election is Nov. 4.


"Today is real special to me," Burkhalter said after he filed, noting it was the first time he had ever filed for political office.


"I’m just a small business owner and Arkansas has been great to me," he said.


While the office’s main responsibility is to lead the Senate during legislative sessions, it is also a position where someone can be an advocate for economic development, Burkhalter said.


"It’s not really the office, it’s who is elected to the office and what they decide to do," he said,.


Also filing Thursday were Scott Pfleegor, 51, of North Little Rock, as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate, and Elvis Presley of Star City as a Libertarian Party candidate for commissioner of state lands.


Land Commissioner John Thurston, a Republican, has already filed for re-election. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is expected to file Friday.