When it comes to Arkansas politics, the state is considered red and that is true as concerns federal offices. All four House members are Republican as is one of their senators. However, when it comes to state politics, the GOP has had difficulty winning the legislature and has had a Democratic governor of late.In the Republican primary, there are three somewhat able and formidable candidates against presumptive Democratic nominee, former fairly popular Congressman Mike Ross: ex-Congressman Asa Hutchinson who lost to outgoing governor Mike Beebe in 2006, state representative Debra Hobbs, and businessman Curtis Coleman who was a 2010 senatorial hopeful. All three have obvious political campaign experience. The candidate with the most impressive resume would be Asa Hutchinson. While the Democrats have this Utopian idea of turning Texas blue, the Republican Party has a more realistic chance of turning neighboring Arkansas totally red quicker. This year’s election presents a golden opportunity.Coleman is characterizing himself as an outsider, non-politician while Hutchinson is highlighting his resume and Hobbs comes somewhere in-between as a somewhat socially-moderate, fiscally conservative alternative to the two. Given the fact that this is a unique opportunity for the GOP, there is polling data to indicate that Hutchinson would be the best candidate to take on Ross. Polling between the two has been close with neither leading by more than five points at any one time. Therefore, endorsing anyone other than Hutchinson may prove too risky in such an electoral climate. Therefore, this writer does endorse Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas.
All four House seats in Arkansas are held by Republicans. In the 2nd, Tim Griffin is retiring leaving an open race and Tom Cotton is vacating the 4th to run against Mark Pryor for his Senate seat in an uncontested primary thus leaving this seat also open. In the 2nd District, three candidates have emerged: state representative Ann Clemmer, former Bush staffer French Hill, and 2010 US Senate hopeful Conrad Reynolds. This is a fairly conservative district although perhaps the least Republican-leaning of all four. Besides his fundraising record, candidate French Hill also has a decent conservative record and is my choice to replace Tim Griffin in the 2nd Congressional District of Arkansas.
Meanwhile,in the even more conservative and Republican open 4th being vacated by Cotton, Tommy Moll, an attorney and energy executive will take on state house majority leader Bruce Westerman. Legislative stunts by Westerman have been documented on these pages in the past. In a sense, he is a politically expedient politician who, because of his position in the state legislature, will flip-flop on issues then use political sleight of hand to cover up the flip flop. Does the GOP need their own John Kerry? Does Arkansas really want to send someone like that to Congress? Yes, he has sponsored some high-profile pro-life legislation and he did vote to override a gubernatorial veto of voter photo ID requirements. However, one is left with a sour taste in their mouth when reviewing the totality not of his record, but of his methods. For these reasons, this writer supports the candidacy of Tommy Moll to be the next representative from the Fourth District in Arkansas.