The centrist Blue Dog Coalition — a group of moderate Democratic Congressional members — says it is initially endorsing 5 candidates in the 2012 election cycle, including First Congressional District Democrat Clark Hall.
Hall, a state representative from Marvell, is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge first-term Republican Rep. Rick Crawford. Hall is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Arkansas State University economics professor Gary Latanich.
The Blue Dog Coalition says it wants to promote and support Democratic Congressional candidates with strong backgrounds in business, national defense, and public service in conservative districts.
“The Blue Dogs are fierce advocates of fiscal responsibility, government accountability and a strong national defense, which is why we are endorsing my good friend, Clark Hall, for Arkansas’s First Congressional District,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D), who is retiring from his Fourth District seat. “We need more independent-minded, fiscally responsible leaders like Clark Hall in the U.S. Congress and that is why the Blue Dog Coalition is proud to endorse his candidacy.”
“The Blue Dogs have always represented the common sense middle and mainstream values of American politics. We’ve fought for balanced budgets, private sector economic growth, and to support our men and women in uniform,” said Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) Co-Chair of the Blue Dog PAC. “These five individuals all share those commitments and won’t hesitate to stand up to party leadership, on either side of the aisle, for what they know is right. We need more of that in Congress, and we could not be more pleased to endorse these candidates today.”
The other four Democratic candidates being endorsed by the Blue Dog group are: Leonard Bembry (FL-2), Brendan Mullen (IN-2), Ted Vick (SC-7), and Rob Wallace (OK-2).
Hall has also picked up early endorsements from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) and several First District Democratic state legislators.