Less than a week after getting the Green Party of Arkansas’ nomination for state treasurer, Bobby Tullis has launched his campaign with an ad attacking incumbent Martha Shoffner for saying the governor is driven around by a “manservant.”“I just want people to know that there is a race to be had,” Tullis, a former state representative, said Thursday.
Shoffner has no Republican opposition in the November general election.
The full-page ad in the weekly Arkansas Times refers to Shoffner as “Queen Martha” for her personal use of a state vehicle.
The ad is headlined “Overthrow Queen Martha,” and depicts a cartoon version of Shoffner hitting a state police vehicle with a scepter and yelling, “Take that, manservant!”
Earlier this month, Shoffner told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Gov. Mike Beebe is driven around by a “manservant” and is exempt from paying taxes for personal travel, so other constitutional officers should be as well.
Shoffner later apologized for calling the state trooper who drives and protects the governor a “manservant,” and she has said she will pay taxes for personal travel.
Shoffner declined comment Thursday when asked about the ad, saying she had not seen it.
“I have heard about it,” she said. “I want to run a positive campaign and talk about my office and the accomplishments I’ve made … I do have an opponent and we’ll be talking about the issues, I hope.”
Tullis, 59, of Mineral Springs in Howard County, served seven terms in the state House from 1979 to 1993 and in 1994 ran unsuccessfully for state auditor.