Jay Martin weighing race against Tim Griffin | Arkansas Blog

Jay Martin weighing race against Tim Griffin

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JAY MARTIN
  • JAY MARTIN
Various polling this week pitted a couple of Democratic names against Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, so far without an opponent for re-election. Those polled included Bill Halter, the former lieutenant governor, who continues to keep his own counsel. (And why would he communicate with a Democratic Party establishment that did all it could to support the doomed Sen. Blanche Lincoln when Halter made a primary run against her in 2010?)

The other name was Jay Martin, a two-term state representative for North Little Rock and Sherwood, who also ran for lieutenant governor in the 2006 Democratic primary but finished a distant fourth behind Halter, Mike Hathorn and Tim Wooldridge. He's a partner of a Little Rock law firm with a general practice that specializes in family matters. In private life he's also pastor to the Metro Worship Center, a ministry of the Amelia B. Ives Housing Projects that he founded in 1997.

Martin was out of town running a marathon in Louisiana Friday, but the signals I'm getting from several connected Democrats are that he's leaning toward entering the 2nd District Race. He'd start with scant name recognition. But it would be impossible to start a race with a lower approval rating than a sitting congressman, particularly one who has voted in lockstep with Republican leadershp on a people-damaging budget proposal that would end Medicare as guaranteed government insurance and who recently took a pretty aloof stand on providing a better day center for veterans on Little Rock's Main Street.

The poll matching only Halter and Griffin could be a product of the liberal groups that did some independent work in 2010 that encouraged Halter to get into the Senate race. It might or might not signal his own interest. He's been very careful in pronouncements so far, but my guess still would be that he plans to run for governor in 2014 and that he doesn't think that a race for Congress would be useful to that cause.

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