With John Boozman's senatorial candidacy a done deal, candidates are loosening up to run for his Third District congressional seat. No new names, but Democrat David Whitaker has announced his campaign opening events and Republican Steve Womack, the mayor of Rogers, has announced formation of an exploratory committee.
WHITAKER NEWS RELEASE
FAYETTEVILLE — Air Force veteran and former Fayetteville Assistant City Attorney David Whitaker will formally declare his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives on Monday, Feb. 15.
Whitaker, the founder and former chairman of the Democratic Veterans Caucus of Arkansas and the recipient of the Arkansas Bar Association’s 2006 Outstanding Government Attorney award, will make stops at five locations across the 3rd Congressional District of Arkansas — Fort Smith, Russellville, Harrison, Rogers and Fayetteville — to kick off his primary election campaign for the Democratic nomination.
“I am entering this race to put an end to business as usual in Washington,” Whitaker said. “We must put the politics of the past behind us and seek workable solutions to the challenges that face our communities and the nation. In this election, the people of the 3rd District have an opportunity to elect a leader who will put their best interests ahead of the corporate lobbyists and Wall Street elites.”
Whitaker will begin the day at Ross Pendergraft Park in Fort Smith, making stops at the Main Street Russellville Train Depot, the Harrison Town Square and the Rogers Public Library. At each event Whitaker will speak for about 15 minutes, answer questions for five to 10 minutes, and meet and greet rally attendees for about 15 minutes. The day will culminate at the Whitaker for Congress Kick-Off Party at U.S. Pizza in Fayetteville, David’s hometown and city from which he was elected to two terms as chairman of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee.
A full schedule of the day’s events follows:
8 a.m. — Fort Smith
Ross Pendergraft Park pavilion
Across from the Sebastian County Democratic Headquarters
221 Garrison Ave.
10:30 a.m. — Russellville
Main Street Russellville Train Depot
320 W. C St.
2 p.m. — Harrison
Harrison Town Square Bandstand
5 p.m. — Rogers
Rogers Public Library Community Room
711 S. Dixieland Road
7 p.m. — Fayetteville Kick-Off Party
202 W. Dickson St.
Admission is free, but campaign contributions are appreciated.
What began in October as a campaign with no money, no staff and only a couple phone lines in the spare room of the Whitaker home has turned into a broad neighbor-to-neighbor campaign of progress for Arkansas. From the very beginning, Whitaker for Congress has been a grassroots campaign, based on a notion as old as the Republic itself – than an ordinary citizen could go to the federal legislature and represent the people in our neighborhoods and towns, and put their needs, hopes and dreams first.
WOMACK NEWS RELEASE
Rogers Mayor Steve Womack announced today that he has formed an exploratory committee in preparation for a potential campaign for the United States Congress.
Arkansas’ Third Congressional District, covering most of northwest Arkansas, is expected to open with current Representative John Boozman likely to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate on Saturday.
“I am from the Third District, having graduated from Russellville High School and Arkansas Tech University,” said Mayor Womack. “For the last eleven years, I have had the pleasure of leading one of Arkansas’ most dynamic cities, Rogers, and am uniquely aware of the issues facing America and this district.”
Womack, 52, is also a retired colonel with the Arkansas Army National Guard and led a battalion in a peacekeeping mission in Egypt in 2002, the first Army National Guard unit called to active duty following the 9-11 attacks. Mayor Womack said “with our nation at war, and with my record of service in uniform, I believe I have much to offer this district and our country.”
Mayor Womack was elected to his first term in 1998, and has been unopposed in his last two elections. He has presided over a city that has added more than $1 billion in investment since taking office. Among his signature developments are the Rogers Adult Wellness Center, Pinnacle Hills Promenade, the new Mercy Medical Center of Rogers, and the World Trade Center. Additionally, Mayor Womack has a record of strong fiscal management, ending Rogers’ deficit spending and balancing the budget without tax increases.
“A number of people have encouraged me to seek higher office, and I am humbled by their support,” said Mayor Womack. “The opportunity to keep a conservative voice representing the Third District in Washington is important to me.”
Mayor Womack’s other honors include Citizen of the Year in 2007 by the March of Dimes; former chairman of the Arkansas Service Commission in 2001; and chairman of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission in 2005-06.
Womack is married to the former Terri Williams of DeWitt, Arkansas and they have three grown children. They attend the Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers.