LITTLE ROCK —Two Republicans said Tuesday they plan to run for the 2nd District congressional seat.
Banker French Hill of Little Rock, and Conrad Reynolds of Conway are the first Republicans to announce for the seat since incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, announced last week that he would not seek a third term in 2014.
Republican state Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton is to announce her candidacy Wednesday during a news conference at the state Capitol.
Democrat Patrick Hays, former North Little Rock mayor, has already announced for the seat.
Hill, chief executive of Delta Trust and Bank, filed paperwork to establish a committee with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday, according to a campaign announcement. Hill had previously announced a run for the state House, but he changed course after Griffin said he would not seek re-election.
"I’m running for Congress because we need more business leaders in Congress, not more career politicians. I grew up in the 2nd District and live and work here today," the 56-year-old Hill said. "Everyday at my business my priorities are helping Arkansas’ entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses and encouraging families to save and invest."
Hill said he knows first-hand the challenges businesses and families in Arkansas face, "and in Congress, I will fight every day for policies that spur economic growth and job creation …"
Hill is a 1975 graduate of Little Rock Catholic High School and a 1979 magna cum laude graduate in economics from Vanderbilt University.
He served as deputy assistant Treasury secretary under former President George H.W. Bush. He has served as CEO of Delta Trust and Bank since its formation in 1999. Previously, he worked at First Commercial Corp., a large financial institution that eventually sold to Regions Corp.
He and his wife have two children.
Reynolds, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2009, said he supported Griffin and hopes to follow in his foot steps.
"I believe that following the retirement of my friend, Tim Griffin, we must continue to have a strong, conservative leader in Congress to represent the values of Central Arkansas," he said.
Reynolds, who recently worked to create the Arkansas Military Veterans Hall of Fame, is a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Kiwanis Club and the National Rifle Association. He spent 29 years in the U.S. Army and is a combat veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I believe that Americans are looking for a leader they can trust," he said.