by Max Brantley
The winner will face the victor of a three-way Republican primary — Beth Anne Rankin, John Cowart and Tom Cotton.
Hurst's own long law practice has earned him some public familiarity, but it is a name familiar with older people, too. His father, Q. Byrum Hurts Sr., who died in 2006, was a state senator for 22 years and ran for governor in 1972.
Q. Byrum Hurst, longtime attorney and small business owner, announced he will enter the contest to succeed Congressman Mike Ross. Mr. Hurst will run as a Democratic candidate for Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District. On Tuesday, Mr. Hurst will make it official by filing at the State Capitol in Little Rock. Mr. Hurst will be joined by his wife of more than 30 years, Rita Hurst, a Hot Springs native and fellow small business owner.
“I believe, as President Bill Clinton once said, that we need to have a laser-like focus on rebuilding our economy. I am running because I want to be the candidate who brings economic development front and center to this race,” said Q. Byrum Hurst, candidate for Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District. “We need to send a leader to Washington who will build on the successful track record of our Congressman Mike Ross. Arkansas cannot afford to send someone to Washington who only wants to dismantle the progress we have made in the name of partisan politics.”
Mr. Hurst, a life-long resident of Hot Springs, believes his 37 years of experience as a practicing attorney and small business owner have well prepared him to help solve the problems facing Arkansas and the country.
“Growing up in Arkansas, I was taught to honor public service. A commitment to service was instilled in me by my grandfathers, both of whom were ordained ministers; one pastored the Missionary Baptist Church and the other served the Church of God,“ Mr. Hurst recalled. “The values they instilled led me to want to serve the Lord by obtaining my license to preach from the Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church. My faith has also taught me that I have an obligation to give back to the community, an obligation to serve.”
“I am running because I believe in public service. I see the extraordinary economic potential for Arkansas’s future and I will be a tireless advocate who will fight for the people of this state,” said Mr. Hurst. “With a common sense approach, I will work to expand the natural gas and oil exploration in our state, fight to bring more new energy industries to Arkansas, regrow our manufacturing base, and provide opportunities for every child in this state to graduate with a college education. The key is hard work, creating more educational and economic opportunity, and ensuring we honor our obligations to our senior citizens by protecting Medicare and Social Security.”
A 1967 graduate of Hot Springs High School, Mr. Hurst was an All-State quarterback who went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas. Mr. Hurst received his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974. Upon receiving his law degree, Mr. Hurst returned to his hometown where has spent more than 35 years in private practice. Q. Byrum and his wife, Rita, have been married for 32 years. They raised five children and are now proud grandparents to eight beautiful grandkids. Mr. Hurst has also spent his life giving back to his community: teaching Sunday School for more than 25 years at the Oaklawn Church of God; coaching at the Boys & Girls Club; serving on the board of directors for Arkansas Special Olympics; serving in the Lake Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department; and was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to serve on the Arkansas Abstractor’s Board.
“I have the experience of creating jobs in the private sector, volunteering in our community and working with Governor Mike Beebe to move Arkansas forward. I believe in Arkansas and I am asking for your vote for Congress. Together, we can work to fulfill the promise of this great state and build a better future for our children,” Mr. Hurst concluded.