Greetings from the great state of Arkansas!* We're very hopeful that this election will make us a little bit bluer - as in more Democratic. Contrary to popular belief, we are in fact a blue state. The majority of our public offices are held by Democrats, but we want more. Things are looking good, but that doesn't mean we can just sit back and relax. Information is power, so hopefully this diary will arm you with enough information so that the power will end up in the hands of Democratic Arkansans and the Democratic leaders we choose to represent us.
US SENATE RACES: No Senate races in 2006. Next Senate race is in 2008.
[UPDATE - MONDAY 16:00 CDT]: Early voting begins today! Go vote!
This seat is currently held by Marion Berry (D). His challenger is Mickey Stumbaugh (R). Congressman Marion Berry was re-elected to his 5th term in 2004 with 67% of the vote. From Berry's wiki:
Cabot Mayor Mickey Stumbaugh, challenger, supports the Iraq war. Perhaps after the election, he will volunteer to serve his country and support the Iraq War by fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. He already has experience working in high crime areas. He was a Little Rock police officer from 1988 to 2003...some of Little Rock's highest crime years.
Berry is a Blue Dog Democrat with a moderate voting record, opposing legal abortion and same-sex marriage while also voting against making the Patriot Act's provisions permanent. He has supported numerous balanced budget amendments and is a vocal proponent of greater fiscal responsibility from the federal government. He voted against the Republican tax cuts stating "they are just borrowing from our children and our grandchildren". Berry's group ratings Voting Record
This seat is currently held by Vic Snyder (D). His challenger for this election is Andy Mayberry (R). Congressman Snyder was re-elected to his 5th term in 2004 with 58% of the vote. Survey USA shows him leading Mayberry 57% to 41% as of October 18, 2006. Congressman Snyder is the man. He's a veteran (US Marine Corps 1967-1969), a doctor, and a lawyer. From his wiki:
Mayberry is anti-choice, has expressed support for amending the U.S. Constitution to outlaw flag burning, opposes homosexual adoption, and has expressed opposition to gun control.
In 1982 after completing his residency he worked as a family practice physician for 15 years. During this time he traveled overseas to volunteer his medical services at Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand, Salvadoran refugee camps in Honduras, and Ethiopian refugee camps in Sudan.
From 1985 to 1988 Snyder attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to obtain his law degree while still maintaining his medical practice. In 1990 he successfully ran for a seat in the Arkansas legislature and served in that body until 1996. In the Arkansas congress, Snyder was responsible for getting the repeal of the state's aged "Sodomy Laws". Like I said, he's the man.
The Democratic challenger in this race is Woodrow Anderson III (D). The incumbent is John Boozman (R). There is a third party candidate, Glen Swartz (G), but I can't find any information on him - not even a blog. Congressman Boozman was elected to his 2nd term in 2000 with 59% of the vote. This is a big race for Arkansas. This district, Northwest Arkansas, is home to Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt - all large corporations with lots of corporate money. It's not surprising this district is red...for now.
Woodrow Anderson needs our help. If you live in the area, or know anyone who does, I encourage you/them to volunteer for Woodrow. If you're short on time and/or money, get a bumper sticker and/or a yard sign! Sounds too easy, doesn't it? It is, but it would make a huge difference. Name recognition is important. And because he's running against a Republican, be sure to tell everyone you know that Woodrow is a family man (he has a wife and 1.5 children - family values!), they're members of Christ the King Catholic Church (not Godless!), he's a small businessman (he owns a hotel), and he is a veteran. Arkansas couldn't ask for a better candidate.
I am against any form of privatization of Social Security and will fight the Washington politicians who continue to raid the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for pet projects.
War in Iraq:
I believe it's time to bring our troops back home. We must send a clear message to the Iraqi government that we have no intention of maintaining the force at the current level. We must begin our reduction and do it methodically to ensure the safety of the troops who remain behind.
This seat is currently held by Mike Ross (D). His challenger for this election is Joe C. Ross (R). Congressman Mike Ross was re-elected to his 2nd term in 2004 with 100% of the vote (he was unopposed). We don't know what Republican challenger Joe Ross stands for, but I suspect ultrageek was right about him, and his only reason for running is to cause a little confusion. Democratic Congressman Mike Ross (D):
...is considered to be a Blue Dog Democrat. He considers himself a social moderate and fiscal conservative who believes that balancing the budget is a high priority. Ross supports stem cell research but opposes abortion. He also is against gun control. Ross is popular among seniors, as he is in favor of expanding Medicare and easing access to cheap health care. He also is a proponent of labor unions and small business, and he opposes tax breaks for big corporations and free trade agreements. Voting Record
Our most important race! this year is the one for governor. The candidates! are:
Mike Beebe (D)
Asa! Hutchison (R)
Jim Lendall (G)
Rod Bryan (I) and
Mike has been leading in most polls! since the beginning, but it's not too late to volunteer for him to ensure he is our state's next governor. And since you've already taken election day off! from work to volunteer (hint) on election day, don't forget to reward! yourself by stopping by Mike Beebe's watch party which starts at 7:30 p.m. And for those not from Arkansas!, the "!" is from Asa!'s campaign logo which uses the "!" after his name for no apparent! reason.
AR-Lt. Gov (open)
Our second most important race in my opinion, is that of Lt. Governor. Remember that our current governor, Republican Mike Huckabee, first ascended to that office when our then Democratic governor, Jim Guy Tucker, resigned. Look where that got us. It's extremely important that the governor's potential successor be a Democrat. Candidates for this office are Bill Halter (D) and Jim Holt (R). The issues important to Bill Halter include raising the minimum wage, making our schools excellent rather than adequate, and putting predatory lenders out of business. Halter is still ahead in the polls, but you can still volunteer for him and/or contribute to his campaign.
So, who will you vote for? Here's a hint:
AR-01: Marion Berry (D)
AR-02: Vic Snyder (D)
AR-03: Woodrow Anderson III (D)
AR-04: Mike Ross (D)
AR-Gov: Mike Beebe (D)
AR-Lt. Gov: Bill Halter (D)
Sources and Other Helpful Links for Arkansans
Arkansas Secretary of State:
2006 General Election and Non-Partisan Judicial Runoff Election
2006 Candidate Information (PDF)
Elections - Voting in Arkansas
Elections - District Maps
Voting in Arkansas - Absentee Voting
Arkansas State House Map - Find your Rep.!
Arkansas State Senate Map - Find your Senator!
Arkansas Times Blogs (Check out their article on Obama's upcoming visit!)
Democratic Underground - Arkansas Election Page
Drinking Liberally: Fayetteville or Little Rock
Greasy Creek - Humor...Razorback style.
House Polls List
Project Vote Smart - Candidates for State Offices
Pure Politics - Arkansas (US House, State, and City Races)
WaPo Congress Votes Database
*Full disclosure: I have posted on Daily Kos before under another name. I chose to use a new account to blog Arkansas races (in 2006 and 2008) so that nothing I've posted previously (meta, snark, etc.) can be used against any Arkansas Democratic candidate.