Arnold had never held elected office before 2011, when the Republican won a House seat that had long been in the hands of Democrats and once epitomized the party’s dominance in the state.
Now, Democrats seeking to reclaim the majority are hoping to unseat Arnold and a string of other Republicans. At the very least, they hope to fend off a Republican supermajority of 74 seats in the 122-member House. A supermajority would erase a key Democratic check on taxing and spending bills, which require 60 percent of votes to pass.
Democrats are hoping to get a boost from a recognizable name challenging Arnold — Lauren Childers, the 26-year-old daughter of former Democratic congressman Travis Childers.