FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Four candidates are vying to be Arkansas’ U.S. House of Representatives congressperson from the third district, but only two of them will be battling it out for a nomination on May 24.

The horseshoe-shaped third district extends from Benton and Washington counties in the very northwestern-most point of the state to Fort Smith and Russellville farther south.

Republican Congressman Steve Womack is the incumbent and has held this seat since being elected in 2010. He is currently a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he is the Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee and also sits on the Defense and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittees. He formerly served as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and has been on the Republican Whip Team since his arrival in Congress.

Womack is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University and he retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard in 2009 at the rank of Colonel with more than thirty years of service. 

Steve Womack

His opponent in the Republican primary is Neil Kumar, who earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 2018. On a social media site, Kumar notes that he was “proudly disavowed as a ‘racist, sexist, bigot’ by the Arkansas GOP.”

In October, 2021, the party designated Kumar a “non-recommended candidate” in the 2022 election after “careful consideration of state election law, party rules and ethics,” said Jonelle Fulmer, party chairman, in a news release.

Neil Kumar

The Libertarian Convention selected Michael J. Kalagias, and he will proceed to the general election in November.

Michael J. Kalagias

Democrat Lauren-Mallett Hays is running unopposed for her party’s nomination and will also be on the ballot for the November 8 general election.

Lauren Mallett-Hays

Early voting is now underway across the state. If you need to verify your voter registration, you can do that here. Election day is May 24. KNWA is your local election headquarters, and you can follow all of our coverage here.