LITTLE ROCK — A third person has tossed his hat in the ring in the Arkansas State Treasurer’s race.

Economist Michael Pakko filed with the state on Monday to run as a Libertarian candidate.

Pakko is currently the Chief Economist for the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at UA-Little Rock.

He told Little Rock television station KATV he’s at a point in his career where he’s seeking to take on new challenges. Pakko was nominated to run by the Libertarian Party of Arkansas at their state convention over the weekend.

“It’s a position that I think I’m very well-qualified to fill,” he said.

Pakko, who has served as the chairman for the Libertarian Party of Arkansas since 2015, said he hopes to offer Arkansans, “More than just a politician administrator to the treasurer’s office. As an economist I would like to offer more of a public facing treasurer who talks about the details to the voters, the constituents.”

While he understands the challenges that come with running against two candidates with political careers, he said, “When it comes to who you trust to keep an eye on the state’s treasury, taxpayers’ money, maybe having a third party in that office would be a good idea rather than one of the two parties that has dominated our politics for 150 years.”

As previously reported, current Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston (R) announced his candidacy for treasurer back in August – two weeks after Treasurer Mark Lowery died at 66 years old.

Following the death of Lowery, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders appointed Larry Walther as treasurer until 2025 when a newly elected state treasurer will take office. Walther was serving as Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Due to Lowery’s untimely death, a special election is being held this year to fill the remaining two years of the four-year term.

Another candidate, former Arkansas State Sen. John Pagan (D) filed for state treasurer in November.