Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced today he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Eldridge said “Washington is broken. I’m running for the Senate because I’m committed to doing everything I can to fix it for Arkansas and for our country.”
“Arkansans are dealing with real problems involving our jobs, our safety, our schools, and the strength of our communities. People in Washington aren’t bringing solutions to these problems and aren’t getting things done. Arkansas needs leaders who will stand up to anyone in Washington, from either political party, and do what’s right for Arkansas and for our country.”
Eldridge pledged to work with anyone interested in bipartisan, common-sense efforts to deal with the challenges we face, saying “The work of a prosecutor in fighting crime isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. We need to take the same approach to creating a strong Arkansas economy, cutting government spending, waste and needless regulation, and making sure that everyone in Arkansas has an opportunity to succeed.”
Eldridge served nearly five years as U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Arkansas before resigning on August 21. During his tenure, Eldridge was an aggressive prosecutor of child pornographers, drug traffickers, and fraudsters.
“It was an incredible honor to serve as U.S. Attorney and I’ll be forever grateful to the dedicated people in that office and in law enforcement throughout Arkansas,” Eldridge said. “Today I’m starting the next chapter in my working life, and I couldn’t be happier that this decision will allow me to continue to serve the state I love and all of us who are fortunate to call Arkansas home.”
Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Eldridge worked with businesses across southwestern, central, and other parts of Arkansas while serving in several roles with Summit Bank and Summit Bancorp Inc. in Arkadelphia. Eldridge held the positions of Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, President of the Arkadelphia region, and Chief Executive Officer during his time at Summit Bank.
“My years in business and as a prosecutor give me a unique perspective on what we have to do to create better paying jobs in Arkansas, to make education a top priority and to reduce the threats of violence and abuse that are disrupting our communities,” he said.
“I was born and raised in Arkansas and Mary Elizabeth and I are raising our three boys here. We care deeply about the future of our state and I want the chance to make Washington work for us, not always against us.”
Eldridge said that since leaving the U.S. Attorney’s office, he has visited with hundreds of Arkansans and received broad encouragement to run. “I would only run this race if I thought I could win,” Eldridge said. “I believe I can make a real difference for Arkansas in the U.S. Senate.”
Eldridge was born in Fayetteville in 1977. After spending the first 12 years of his life in Augusta, his family moved to Lonoke where he worked on the family farm and graduated from high school. During that time, he also continued to spend time visiting his family in Augusta. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Davidson College and gained his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas.
Eldridge previously worked for U.S. Rep. Marion Berry and U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln during 1998 and from 1999-2000. Eldridge’s service focused on Agriculture issues, including legislation before the House and Senate Agriculture committees. During law school, he worked as a law clerk to several law firms in Arkansas and the Washington Country Prosecutor’s office. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele of the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2003-2004.
Eldridge and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, moved from Arkadelphia to Fort Smith and, later, to Fayetteville after he became U.S. Attorney. They are raising three young boys: Will, 8; Henry, 4; and Tull, 3.