Arkansas’ GOP Lt. Governor Mark Darr sent a message via Twitter on Friday afternoon that "people are asking me to move to Madison County. Hmmmmmm. That’s an idea."
Madison County has been added to Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, the seat currently held by Democrat, Rep. Mike Ross. Darr, who currently lives in Springdale, could move 15 miles east into the district and set up a 2012 showdown between the first term Republican and six-term Democrat.
If Darr was serious, he would have a free, mid-term shot at the Congressional seat. He was elected to a four-year term as Lt. Governor in 2010.
Darr backed down from the Twitter proposition in a Friday afternoon Talk Business interview, but he didn’t close the door to the possibility.
"I may be running against Mike Ross some day, but I don’t foresee it being in ’12 ," Darr said. "I will be working to defeat him one way or another in 2012, but it won’t me… as of right now, it will not be me."
Darr said he has had several people ask him to move into the district and that he tweeted the notion to acknowledge their efforts.
Darr has significant roots in and around the Fourth District. He is a Fort Smith native and grew up in southern Sebastian County in the community of Mansfield. He attended college at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Like Ross, Darr has aggressively advocated for lignite exploration, a major potential economic engine for south Arkansas.
A Ross-Darr match-up would be interesting as it would test the strength of a newly elected Republican versus a proven Democratic vote getter. Ross has won re-election handily as a conservative Democrat in the expansive district, even when GOP gains across the state and country resulted in large Republican advances at many levels.
Ross is also considered a strong Democratic candidate for Governor in 2014, although he will likely face a primary challenge from Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. Former Lt. Governor Bill Halter’s name continues to surface as a potential Democratic candidate for Governor in 2014.
Darr has also been the subject of speculation for a gubernatorial bid in 2014, so a Ross-Darr match-up for Congress in 2012 could be a potential preview of more than one race.
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