Arkansas Republicans on the Move
I posted here not long ago that the Republican party has come to life in my home state of Arkansas. Last night, at a meeting of the Lonoke County Republican Committee, I was pleased to receive confirmation of this in the form of two speakers–Arkansas Republican Party Political Director Chase Dugger and Republican candidate for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District Rick Crawford.
Dugger informed those present of the Arkansas GOP’s new website, which I mentioned here a few days ago. He also let us know there are more Republican candidates lining up for the 2010 election than ever before. In last year’s election, none of the three Democratic Congressmen from Arkansas faced a Republican challenger, nor did Senator Mark Pryor. It was as if Arkansas didn’t matter to the GOP. Dugger, who was campaign chairman for Mickey D. “Stubby” Stumbaugh’s unsuccessful run against Democratic Congressman Marion Berry in 2006, pointed out that even the state party hasn’t been active enough in helping GOP candidates in the past. But he noted, this is not the old Republican Party of Arkansas and things are going to be different from now on. He promised the state party would be very involved in the effort to get Republicans elected to state and federal offices.
Rick Crawford spoke next, and I must say, I was impressed. I’ve long believed the problem with politics is the politicians. In other words, we need regular people in DC to replace the professional pols. Crawford is a veteran of the US Army who returned to Arkansas and now runs AgWatch Network, a farm news network broadcast across five states and 39 radio stations. His links to agriculture may eliminate what has been Congressman Marion Berry’s largest advantage in a district that spans the greater part of Arkansas’ part of the Mississippi River delta.
Crawford explained that he’s concerned with the direction the country is headed under President Obama, comparing the President’s foreign policy to that of former President Jimmy Carter. He identified himself as a Reagan conservative who believes in limited, Constitutional government. Concerned already about the mounting debt from Obama’s frivolous spending spree, he also recognizes the dangers looming if the President has his way on healthcare reform. When asked by a committee member what his position is on illegal immigration, he made clear that we must secure our southern border. Crawford said he doesn’t want to stop immigration, but is asking that immigrants “sign the guest book on the way in.” In other words, immigrants are welcome as long as they’re legal immigrants.
In my opinion, Rick Crawford is exactly what we need in Congress. A solid conservative, non-politician seeking political office because he cares about this country and wants to stop the current mad dash toward Socialism. I was really glad I had the opportunity to hear him speak at this early stage of the campaign.
If you’re a conservative Arkansan who’s often wondered just exactly what the Republican Party does in Arkansas, the 2010 campaign season should put your worries to rest. This may be the best showing in history by the GOP in the Natural State.