LITTLE ROCK — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will headline a fundraising dinner for the Democratic Party of Arkansas next month, the party said Wednesday.

LITTLE ROCK — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will headline a fundraising dinner for the Democratic Party of Arkansas next month, the party said Wednesday.


Clinton will speak at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on July 18 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. It will be her first visit to the state since she announced her second presidential bid in April.


"We are thrilled to have our former first lady, Hillary Clinton, home in Arkansas for this year’s J.J. Dinner," state Democratic Party Chairman Vince Insalaco said in a news release.


"As Arkansas’s first lady, Hillary worked tirelessly to secure a better future for our children and families — a responsibility that she continued as the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator, and as secretary of state. We are excited to welcome her to an Arkansas homecoming that celebrates both that progress and looks towards a hopeful future," he said.


Republican National Committee spokesman Fred Brown said in a news release Wednesday, "Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been mired in scandals regarding her family foundation’s foreign donors and her secret email server. After dodging questions for months, she should take this opportunity to finally come clean and discuss the issues important to Arkansans."


A native of Illinois, Clinton taught law at the University of Arkansas before marrying Bill Clinton, who went on to become the 40th and 42nd governor of Arkansas and the 42nd president of the United States. Hillary Clinton served as a U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.


She ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 and lost to Barack Obama, who went on to defeat Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain to win the presidency. Obama appointed her as U.S. secretary of state in 2009, a post she held until 2013.


In May, another candidate with Arkansas ties, former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee, announced his second presidential bid in Hope, his hometown.


During a special session in late May, the Arkansas Legislature voted to move the state’s primary elections from May 20 to March 1 for the 2016 election cycle, a move that is aimed at giving the state a say in the outcome of the presidential primaries.


Ticket information for the $200-a-plate Jefferson-Jackson Dinner can be obtained by contacting the state Democratic Party by phone at (501) 374-2361 or by email at dhupp@arkdems.org. Tickets can be ordered online at: secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/arjj2015.