One claims to be an outsider, the other a close ally of Gov. Mike Beebe.
The two Democratic candidates for the First District Congressional nomination staked out their best qualities in a debate held on KARK-TV Channel 4 in Little Rock.
Jonesboro Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington and Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell squared off in a live debate fielding questions on jobs, government reduction, and agriculture.
The winner faces Republican first-term Cong. Rick Crawford and Green Party nominee Jacob Holloway in November.
Saying he was an “outsider” in the race, Ellington argued that he would fight for agriculture, preserving the military, and curbing the Environmental Protection Agency.
“I'm going to Washington, D.C. to fight for and elbow my way to the front of the line,” Ellington said.
Hall played up his working relationship with popular Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.
“I'm the only candidate who has worked with Gov. Mike Beebe,” said Hall. “I'm the only candidate who can defeat Rick Crawford this fall.”
all and Ellington both said their top priority is creating jobs for the east Arkansas district.
When asked about federal agencies that should be preserved or cut, Ellington said he would like to see the EPA's powers curtailed and he warned against too deep of cuts in the military. Hall said the Department of Human Services should be “off the table,” but he did not state an agency for closure or reduction.
Both candidates were allowed to ask each other a question.
Ellington asked Hall why he voted against a bill that would provide priority for lottery scholarships to kids whose parents were killed in Afghanistan. Hall said the bill was neither “fair” nor “transparent enough.”
Hall asked Ellington if he would have his support if he wins the nomination. “I will support you as the nominee if you are the nominee,” Ellington said.
You can view the debate video at this link.