The First District Congressional Runoff has become amazingly heated in the last week of the races. I am not sure if this is because the race is tightening and might be close or if it is due to the desperation of Clark Hall's campaign trying to get some traction.
Hall kicked it up another notch in his interview on Fox 16 on Friday. Fox 16 profiled all the Congressional runoff candidates last week with five-minute interviews. Hall used his time to double-down on his criticisms of Ellington, even throwing out a new charge that he has been reprimanded by the bar association for his work as an attorney.
Hall respond to a question about the political hay being made by Hall's campaign on the lawsuit against Ellington's wife for accumulated credit card debt.
“I never used his wife nor accused his wife of doing anything. All I said was that a person who is running for an office who has had problems for tax liens for non-payment of his payroll taxes. He has had problems being sued by creditors. He has had problems of being reprimanded by the bar association,” said Hall.
“I am questioning the ability of Mr. Ellington to stand firm for the rights of Arkansans. I question his commitment to helping our children,” continued Hall who went on to continue questioning whether Ellington is doing everything he can to pursue th
e murders of the three victims in the infamous West Memphis Three case.
This is the first I've heard of any reprimand against Ellington, so I emailed Hall's campaign manager last night for clarification but have not heard back.
The Ellington campaign did get back to me and said they don't know what Hall is talking about.
“Should Clark Hall have something for us to comment on, I'm happy to look at it. I don’t know what he was referring to in his Fox16 interview,” said campaign spokesperson Mariah Hatta.
As best I can tell, the bar association does not reprimand attorneys so it is highly doubtful they have reprimanded Ellington. Instead, the body that normally issues sanctions against attorneys in Arkansas is the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct. This is the body which has sanctioned Fourth District Congressional Candidate Q. Byrum Hurst eleven times, but does not show any action against Ellington.
I have heard that Ellington has received a couple of cautionary letters while deputy public defender for missed criminal appeals deadlines which could be what Hall was referencing although it is not completely clear. This is just the latest chapter in a heated Democratic runoff that will finally be resolved one way or the other on Tuesday.