Martha Ann Shoffner

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Martha Ann Shoffner
Martha Shoffner.jpg
Arkansas Treasurer
Former officeholder
In office
January 2007 - May 2013
PredecessorGus Wingfield (D)
Base salary$54,594
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 4, 2006
Next generalTerm-limited
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Arkansas Public Service Commission
High schoolNewport High School
Bachelor'sMemphis State University, Arkansas State University
Master'sNational Institute for Public Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (2007)
Office website
Martha Ann Shoffner is the former Democratic Arkansas Treasurer. Shoffner was first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.[1] She resigned on May 21, 2013 under pressure from Gov. Mike Beebe and other state officials following her arrest on a federal extortion charge. In Arkansas, state constitutional officers are restricted to a lifetime limit of two terms in office, therefore Shoffner would have been ineligible to run for re-election as treasurer in 2014 had she remained in the position until her term's scheduled expiration.[2][3]

Shoffner was arrested on May 18, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on an extortion charge.[4] Federal authorities found that while serving as state treasurer, she had accepted a series of $6,000 cash payments from a broker who invested state money. In an affidavit filed May 20, Shoffner confessed to having wrongfully accepted the money from the broker, who was promised anonymity in exchange for the information he or she contributed to the investigation. Shoffner allegedly violated The Hobbs Act, a federal statute prohibiting, "Extortion under color of official right or extortion by a public official through misuse of his/her office."[5] She was released from jail "on her own recognizance" and later plead guilty to accepting $36,000 in cash payments.[6] Her guilty plea was rejected by federal judge, Leon Holmes, therefore Shoffner will have to stand trial.[7]


Shoffner was born and raised in Jackson County, Arkansas.[8] She attended Memphis State University and Arkansas State University and graduated from the National Institute for Public Finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business.[9] Shoffner began her career in the private sector by joining a major Little Rock advertising firm, and doing sales and marketing for Storer Cable.[8] She then became a licensed real estate agent, joining Sink Realty in Newport, Ark. She also served as assistant to the state auditor, an office she later ran for, unsuccessfully, in 2002.[8]

Before becoming treasurer, Shoffner served in the Arkansas Public Service Commission from 1996 to 2002.[8]


  • Newport High School
  • Memphis State University (University of Memphis)
  • Arkansas State University
  • 2007: National Institute for Public Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Political career

State Treasurer (2006-2013)

Shoffner was first elected as Arkansas Treasurer on November 7, 2006 and sworn in again on January 11, 2011, for her second term.[8] She resigned the post amid scandal in May 2013, far in advance of her term end date. Before she was elected to statewide public office, Shoffner served as Assistant to the Auditor of State under Julia Hughes Jones.[8]


Resignation due to arrest on federal extortion charge

On May 18, 2013, Shoffner was arrested in her home by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of attempt and conspiracy to commit "extortion under color of official right" under the Hobbs Act.[5] The arrest was made without a formal indictment and arose from an investigation into Shoffner's handling of state investments in her capacity as treasurer, as well as allegations she had broken state election laws governing campaign contributions. The federal investigation revealed that she had accepted $12,000 in cash payments from a broker who eventually managed a vast portion of the state's $3.3 billion investment portfolio.[10] An affidavit filed the Monday following her arrest has Shoffner confirming it was wrong to accept the money, that was sometimes rolled up and hidden in a pie box- with the pie included.[10][4] At the federal court hearing, held that Monday, Shoffner declined to enter a plea, and was released from Pulaski County Jail "on her own recognizance."[4] News of Shoffner's charge and arrest led many state officials, including Gov. Mike Beebe, attorney general Dustin McDaniel and state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb, to call for her to step down.[6] Schoffner subsequently tendered her resignation to the governor, effective May 21, 2013.[11] In the letter to Beebe, Shoffner wrote, “I am proud to have been elected by and to have served the people of the state of Arkansas and regret that I can no longer perform the duties and responsibilities owed to the public.”[10]

2011 audit criticism

Federal authorities launched a criminal probe into Shoffner's office and campaign finances after legislative auditors uncovered that in 2011, the first year of her second term, Shoffner's office had cost the state nearly $60,000, among other suspicious statistics that pointed to possible misconduct. The audit determined that under her leadership, the office had "blocked the state from earning more than $400,000" by improperly handling the sale and investment of state bonds.[11] After the unflattering audit report, Shoffner told the press, "I know the buck stops with me and I'm going to have to take responsibility and I want to take responsibility...I just don't want this to happen again in the future."[12]

Arkansas Public Service Commission (1996-2002)

Before becoming treasurer, Shoffner served in the Arkansas Public Service Commission from 1996 to 2002.[8]



See also: Arkansas down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Shoffner resigned before her seat could go up for election in 2014. Had she remained in office, she would have been ineligible for re-election due to term limits.


Shoffner won re-election as Arkansas Treasurer on November 2, 2010.

Arkansas Treasurer, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMartha Ann Shoffner Incumbent 67.5% 479,701
     Green Bobby Tullis 32.5% 230,594
Total Votes 710,295
Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State


Shoffner first won election as Arkansas Treasurer in 2006.

Arkansas Treasurer, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMartha Ann Shoffner 59.7% 450,450
     Republican Chris Morris 36.5% 275,631
     Green Brock Carpenter 3.8% 28,861
Total Votes 754,942
Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Martha Ann Shoffner's donors each year.[13] Click [show] for more information.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Gus Wingfield (D)
Arkansas Treasurer
Succeeded by
Charles Robinson