Today, two Arkansas Democrats announced their candidacies for the State Senate and their races could have an impact on the balance of power in the General Assembly.
State Representative Tiffany Rogers (D-Stuttgart) formally announced her campaign to defeat incumbent Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) in State Senate District 28.
In her press release, Rogers said:
“In the State Senate, I will keep my focus on the things that matter most to the people of this district. I’ll put issues like increasing funding for education programs; growing the local economy with farmers, natural gas producers and small business owners; bringing tax relief to working families; protecting our seniors and rural hospitals; and helping attract new businesses and industry, at the top of my priority list.”
Due to redistricting, it’s a different district than Dismang previously represented and some observers believe this makes the first-term incumbent vulnerable since he is not widely known in this new district.
During my time at the State Capitol, I got to know Senator Dismang a little bit and found him to be one of the more reasonable members of the Republican Caucus.
Representative Rogers’s candidacy expands the election map for Arkansas Democrats and allows them to play some offense in their bid to retain control of the State Senate.
Former State Representative Bruce Maloch (D-Magnolia) also announced his candidacy to replace term-limited State Senator Percy Malone (D-Arkadelphia) in District 12.
Maloch in his press release said:
“These are crucial times for our state and the people of south Arkansas. We all must work to keep our state’s budget balanced and to increase jobs and economic opportunity for all of our people. I know the challenges we face; I see them every day when I talk with people throughout South Arkansas. I have the experience, knowledge and support to work with Governor Beebe to pass common sense legislation to keep this state moving forward.”
At the moment, there is no announced Republican candidate for this sprawling South Arkansas district, although Representative Lane Jean (R-Magnolia) is mentioned as a potential opponent.
Last week, the latest Talk Business poll revealed that a "generic" Republican currently holds a slight lead over a generic Democratic candidate and I noted that in the end it all comes down to the actual candidates. Bother Rogers and Maloch are perfect examples of this as they are top-tier candidates for the Senate and are formidable contenders in their respective races.