The rest of today's ballot | Arkansas Blog

The rest of today's ballot

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The multi-million-dollar Democratic Senate primary and the eight-way race on the Republican side have left other candidates gasping for air time.

But there's much more of interest:

* Primaries in one or both parties in all four congressional districts and open seats in three of them -- 1, 2 and 3. The Times endorsed Joyce Elliott in the Democratic 2nd, but each candidate in that race has positive qualities. I don't readily buy the conventional wisdom about likely run-off opponents in this race. A 4-to-1 turnout edge for Pulaski over Faulkner county would mean trouble for Robbie Wills if the Pulaski vote was not going to be fractured, but it will be. That fracture also could spell trouble for Elliott, who doesn't seem to have spent a great deal of time outside Pulaski. Does his association with Rep. Vic Snyder help David Boling? Could appealing youthful candidates John Adams and Patrick Kennedy break through with social media messaging? The minute the Pulaski County Election Commission reveals the early vote, we'll be able to answer most questions.

The 1st District Democratic primary is tonight's horror movie. I'll be peeking through my fingers, hoping that the homophobic (work discrimination against gay people should be legal and frequent) and blood-thirsty (public executions) Tim Wooldridge (also a lobbyist by trade) won't run away with the nomination. David Cook, Steve Bryles and Chad Causey -- in order of progressive politics -- are all preferable.

* Two seats on the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Times has endorsed Tim Fox and John Fogleman. Both are in hard-fought races against candidates with disingenuous strategies.

* A seat on the Court of Appeals covering, among others, Faulkner County. There, candidate Rhonda Wood, has shown disdain for the non-partisan nature of the office and judicial ethics rules by positioning herself as the Republican candidate in the race. Incumbent Judge Jo Hart merits re-election on that ground alone.

* Many interesting legislative races. Perhaps the most interesting will be GOP primaries in western LR and Saline County. Will Mike Huckabee's endorsement help John Parke beat a former Huckabee employee, David Sanders, for a state House seat now held by Dan Greenberg? Can Greenberg buy a nomination for a Senate seat, now held by term-limited Shane Broadway, with personal wealth? Or can Jeremy Hutchinson buy it with a matching money bag heavily loaded with corporate interest cash? Will Fayetteville's Democratic representative remain a progressive, with a victory for Greg Leding? Or will a corporate shill and former legislator, Bill Ramsey, carry the day? And how about this Democratic Senate primary: Can Blytheville's Barrett Harrison, a politician cut in the mold of term-limited current Sen. Steve Bryles, beat retired Judge David Burnett of Osceola, whose dubious handling of the West Memphis Three murder case is a black mark on the judiciary? And there's Hendrix prof Jay Barth's well-funded and well-organized effort to take a central Little Rock Senate seat against a candidate, Linda Chesterfield, whose increasingly disappointing legislative record is of less interest to some than her race in a majority black district.

* Republican hijinks. The Senate primary (can John Boozman sweep the field for Senate) is of high interest. The 3rd District GOP primary is certainly heading for a runoff. Will the sequel be "Crazy and Crazier?"

These are among the things I'll be watching tonight. Tune in.

 

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