Political Animals Club president Rex Nelson, former communications director for Gov. Mike Huckabee, says he’s unsure if Republicans helped or hurt their chances for holding on to majorities in the Arkansas legislature after this recently concluded session.
“It’s too early to tell. I wish I could sit here and tell you that Republicans either helped themselves or they hurt themselves with this legislative session. I’ve got to sit back and watch a little bit,” said Nelson in a Talk Business on Fox 16 interview.
“You’ve got a real division in the Republican Party and it comes with when you’re in the majority sometimes you start fighting amongst yourselves,” he said.
Nelson said that the early part of the session was dominated by one faction of the party’s leadership and the second half was controlled by another.
“You have the more business-type Republicans that focus on fiscal issues and then you have the more social Republicans, and some of the people frankly that came in on the Tea Party wave, and those are very different people. I think the ideologues within the party really were controlling the echo chamber, if you were, in the first weeks of the session, and I think the media was suddenly focused on it,” Nelson said.
Still, he thinks the big issues were handled well by session’s end and Nelson said that could lead to a path to victory for House Speaker Davy Carter if he chose to enter the Governor’s primary race against frontrunner Asa Hutchinson and challenger Curtis Coleman.
Nelson contends that northwest Arkansas’ influence in a GOP primary could be diluted if Cong. Tom Cotton enters the U.S. Senate race.
Watch more of Nelson’s comments in the video below.