Delegates elected their peers to various statewide offices on Thursday, June 3, as part of the 80th annual session of the leadership and civic engagement Arkansas Boys State program, which is sponsored by the Arkansas American Legion.

These delegates underwent a rigorous election process to reach their elected office. After being selected as their party nominee in the primary election, the candidates faced off again in a run-off election then headed to the general election against the other party’s nominee. At each point in the process, the delegates gave speeches to their parties and the Boys State delegation, and the general election candidates for governor participated in a governor’s debate, which discussed issues on press political and social issues for the state.

The following delegates were elected to their respective statewide offices.

Statewide Elections:
Associate Justice Position 1: Mason Sherman, Des Arc
Associate Justice Position 3: Luke Welcher, Fayetteville
Attorney General: Ethan Christmas, Maumelle Charter High School
Attorney General: Joe Rhee, Central High School – Little Rock
Chief Justice – Supreme Court: Harrison McCarty, Pulaski Academy
Governor: Richard Ware, Hope
Governor: Michael Finkenbinder, Dardanelle
Lt. Governor: Richard Liu, Central High School – Little Rock
Lt. Governor: Jayce Pollard, Conway
Secretary Of State: Cade Smiley, Conway
Secretary Of State: Noah Wilson, Springdale High School
State Auditor: Lucas Hayes, Alma
State Land Commissioner: Evan Meyers, Lakeside School District (Garland)
State Treasurer: Daniel Pitts, Greenwood

Arkansas Boys State is an immersive program in civics education designed for high school juniors. Since 1940, the week-long camp has transformed the next generation of leaders throughout our state and beyond. These young men have gone on to become state, national, and international leaders, including President Bill Clinton, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, Senator Tom Cotton, Senator John Boozman, and Arkansas Chief Justice John Dan Kemp — just to name a few.

During their week at Arkansas Boys State, delegates are assigned a political party, city, and county. Throughout the week, delegates, from the ground up, administer this mock government as if it were real: they run for office, draft and pass legislation, solve municipal challenges, and engage constituents. By the week’s end, the delegates have experienced civic responsibility and engagement firsthand while making life-long memories and friends — all with our guiding principle that “Democracy Depends on Me.”

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