Arkansas Republicans were shocked to learn today that Republican State Senate candidate Tommy Caubble died suddenly of a heart attack in his peach orchard this morning just outside Wynne.
I graduated high school in Wynne where my first job as a teenager was picking peaches in the very same orchard. I did not know Tommy well, but went to school and played football with his son. His brother, Jack, is the Cross County Judge – first Republican ever in the role – and was my boss when I worked there.
The Caubbles took great pride in the peaches which they had grown for years. Crowley’s Ridge cut through east Arkansas elevating the region which creates a climate good for growing them. Picking them was a great first job. Although it was hot and I had to be there at 5:00 am, I was done well before noon and could eat fresh peaches off the tree for breakfast.
“Our party is deeply saddened by the passing of Tommy Caubble. Our prayers go out to the Caubble family and all who knew Tommy,” said Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb in a statement today. “Tommy died of a heart attack while spending time in his family’s peach orchard as he did every morning. Tommy loved his community and state and wanted nothing more than to serve others in hopes of making the place he loved better for all Arkansans. His positive outlook, sense of humor and kind spirit will be missed by all. We ask that everyone pray for Tommy’s family and keep them in your thoughts.”
Tommy decided to run for the state senate shortly before filing began in February after his brother, Jack, briefly considered it then decided to stick with re-election for county judge. Tommy would have had an uphill, but winnable, battle against Democratic candidate State Rep. Jerry Brown in the fall.
One other note – I can’t help but think back to 2010 when Keith Crass suddenly died just days before his state representative election in Hot Springs and actually went on to win the election.
Also – Webb indicated that the Republican Party will likely have a special convention to determine a replacement nominee. Due to the timing, their is a “vacancies in nomination” which allows the party to choose a new nominee for November.