This is not Tom Cotton’s week when it comes to his attempts to define himself as a candidate who cares about Arkansas and the people of his district. Two news items in as many days have brought into focus that Tom Cotton is a politician who puts his blind ambition above his district.

It was revealed this week that Tom Cotton skipped an iconic political event in his district so he could spend time with billionaire donors.

Here are the details.

The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival is a must-attend political event that almost all the statewide candidates head to in an election year. A major activity of the 58th annual festival was the tomato eating contest where the candidates compete with each other to see who can eat a plate of tomatoes the fastest. It’s fun to watch the candidates let their guard down and make themselves look a little silly wolfing down tomatoes.

The event is held in Warren, located in the southeastern corner of the Fourth Congressional District. As you know, Tom Cotton is the Congressman from the Fourth District.

This year, all the statewide candidates for office were at the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival except for one – Fourth District Congressman Tom Cotton.

Where was Tom Cotton? Well, Tom Cotton apparently skipped this iconic political event in his own district to hang out in California with the Koch Brothers.

The Nation reports this week that Cotton, along with other GOP elected officials, attended the Koch Brothers annual summer seminar in California.

From The Nation:

Charles and David Koch wrapped up their annual summer seminar on June 16 in Dana Point, California, at the St. Regis Monarch Bay resort—a fitting location for two men whose combined net worth is more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The highly secretive mega-donor conference, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” featured a who’s who of Republican political elites. According to conference documents obtained through a source who was in attendance, Representatives Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO) and Jim Jordan (OH) were present…

Cotton’s staff refused to respond to any questions from The Nation and have not denied Cotton was in California instead of the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival.

It’s clear Tom Cotton doesn’t give a flip about his Congressional District, it’s just his stepping-stone for higher office. A month after getting sworn in as the Fourth District Congressman he was already polling his chances of becoming a U.S. Senator.  Then, Tom Cotton literally chose to play golf with billionaires in California instead of attending the biggest political event of the year in his own district.

To me, Tom Cotton has developed a clear pattern of putting personal ambition before his constituents.

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Michael Cook is the moderator for his opinion blog, Cook's Outlook. He can be reached by e-mail at Michael@CooksOutlook.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mcookAR or on Facebook: facebook.com/CooksOutlook.