Obama Nominates Western Arkansas U.S. Attorney
By Andrew Ramonas | September 29, 2022 6:49 pm

President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated a former bank executive to lead the Western District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Conner Eldridge (Summit Bank)

William Conner Eldridge Jr., 33, was the chief executive officer for Summit Bank in Arkansas before he stepped down this year. He is currently a special deputy prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Clark County, Ark.

Eldridge would replace Deborah J. Groom, who has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Robert Balfe in January 2009.

The then-bank executive was initially recommended for the job last year by Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Democrats.

A black state prosecutor, Carlton Jones, was also under consideration before he decided to withdraw from consideration earlier this year amid rising frustration among Arkansas black leaders about the glacial pace of the nominating process.

Eldridge graduated from Davidson College in 1999 and the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2003. He clerked for U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2003 to 2004.

In a statement, Lincoln said Eldridge is a former member of her Senate staff and said he “enjoys widespread support in the state.”

If confirmed, Eldridge would appear to be the youngest U.S. Attorney appointed during the Obama administration. Brendan Johnson, the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota and son of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), was 34 years old when he was nominated last year.

Obama has now nominated 78 U.S. Attorneys, 66 of whom have won Senate confirmation and one of whom has said he would withdraw. There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts located throughout the nation.

This article has been updated.

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