State Rep. Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) and conservative radio talk show host Alice Stewart discussed Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D) prospects for reelection in 2014 on the latest edition of Capitol View.
Williams, former chief of staff to then-Attorney General Mark Pryor, said the incumbent Democratic Senator starts from “a position of strength” with $2 million in the bank and favorable name ID.
“Mark Pryor puts Arkansas first. He’s a moderate Democrat, people like to use the word ‘bipartisan.’ What that means is that he’s effective. He can work with both sides of the aisle and get things done,” Williams said.
Stewart, former press secretary to former Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, said there’s a reason Mark Pryor is considered “the most vulnerable” Senator by many national media interests and it is because of his “election year conversions” on key policy debates.
“He’s certainly very personable and extremely popular, but he’s not predictable. And that’s a concern on big issues like guns, life and gay marriage here in Arkansas,” Stewart said.
Pryor’s likely GOP challenger in 2014 is Cong. Tom Cotton, who has said he’s learned “it’s never a good idea to say never” in politics. Stewart says he is making all the right moves to lay the groundwork for a Senate challenge.
“He’s doing all the right things in that he’s meeting with all the right people – money people, party people – and also building a grassroots network not just with people in his district but across the state and in D.C.,” said Stewart.
Williams said he doesn’t know if Pryor has a preference for who will oppose him, but right now he’s in an enviable position.
“We see how vulnerable he is because no one’s come out against him,” said Williams. “No one’s decided. I think it’s time for people to decide if they want to run – run.”
Stewart and Williams offered comments on how the recent health care debate at the capitol may also play out in next year’s elections at a variety of levels. Watch their full interview below.