LITTLE ROCK — Susan Inman, a longtime election official at both the county and state level, said Thursday she will run for secretary of state in 2014.
A Democrat, Inman currently serveson the state Board of Election Commissioners and is a member of the Pulaski County Election Commission. She is president of the Arkansas County Election Commission Association.
Inman said she wants to restore "good customer service" to the secretary of state’s office.
"I’m more than qualified to serve in that capacity," she said.
Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican, has said he plans to seek re-election next year.
"There’s a communication lapse" in the secretary of state’s office, according to Inman, who said she and other county election officials have had difficulty getting their questions answered when they call the office.
"I have personally experienced that in trying to get information from the office," she said. "If I were elected, I would know exactly what to do from the beginning."
Inman worked for more than 10 years in the Pulaski County clerk’s office before she was named the county’s coordinator of elections in 1994. She left that job in 2000 to serve as director of the elections division under then-Secretary of State Sharon Priest.
In 2003, she returned to Pulaski County as director of elections and helped manage elections after the county came under scrutiny in 2002 for widespread problems with the primary and general elections.
She retired in 2009. In 2011, she was appointed to the state Board of Election Commissioners and in 2012 she was elected to the Pulaski County Election Commission.
Inman has traveled to a number of countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe as an election observer.
Inman said she plans to resign from the county election panel in the next few weeks. Her term on the state board expired recently but she will continue to serve on that panel until her replacement is named by House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot.
During the recent legislative session, Inman spoke against several election reform bills supported by the secretary of state’s office, including one that would have transferred the state Board of Election Commissioners to the secretary of state’s office.
That measure failed to get out of committee, but three other measures affecting the state board were passed. Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed them. The Legislature could consider overriding the vetoes when it returns May 17 to formally end the regular session.
"Elections are near and dear to my heart and the fairness and openness of the whole process is something that I think is very important and I don’t think those bills did that, or were even trying to do that," Inman said. "It was just a partisan effort to takeover."