by Max Brantley
State Rep. Tracy Steele announced today for mayor of North Little Rock, joining Joe Smith in the race to succeed retiring Pat Hays.
Funny. Steele didn't send a notice to me. But his website is up and an Argentan sent me a note about the announcement. Steele is a smooth politician. The less he's asked about his sometimes rocky tenure at the M.L. King Commission is probably the better, he figures. Plus, he's refused for some time now to talk about how he raises money from corporate contributors while a legislator for his Stand Foundation, which spends a hefty portion of its income paying a salary to — Tracy Steele. He got about half of the $156,000 raised in 2009 as a $77,000 salary.
Items on his web page note Steele's support for the popular recent school tax increase to rebuild city schools and for school dress codes. You'll recall he was the sponsor of anti-droopy-pants legislation.
Here's Joe Smith's web page. He emphasizes "openness and honesty."
BELATEDLY: A teabagger reminds me that Mark Clinton, a Tea Partyer, has also announced for mayor. Video says his first priority is "freedom" of religion. The Liberty Baptist grad's view of what that means likely differs somewhat from mine. He also wants to, surprise, cut taxes.