Fort Smith-native enters 4th District race

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 64 views 

A Fort Smith native and graduate of Southside High School is the newest Republican vying for a chance to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, in Congress.

Tommy Moll, who now lives in Hot Springs, describes himself as a "conservative businessman," officially threw his hat in the ring this morning.

In a statement, Moll took a similar stance to fellow 4th District Republican candidates, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, also of Hot Springs, in vowing to fight what Moll says is an out of control federal government.

"I’m running for Congress to defend our freedoms from a federal government that is out of control. The Fourth District needs a leader in Washington with a business background who understands how the private sector creates jobs and how government intervention harms economic growth."

Moll said his top priorities will be jobs and the economy, saying that unemployment in the 4th District was 8.4%, leaving nearly 27,000 district residents unemployed.

"The federal government has only made the problem worse by recklessly passing job-killing laws like Obamacare, while piling up a national debt so large it threatens every American with the prospect of economic calamity."

Moll will soon begin a tour of the district's 33 counties in coming weeks to introduce himself to the district. He holds a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Columbia University in New York.

Moll is the son of Mary and Mark Moll of Fort Smith. Mark is an attorney with Fort Smith-based Jones, Jackson & Moll law firm.

In addition to Darr, Moll and Westerman, Hot Springs educator Janis Percefull is the only announced Democrat in the 4th District race. Senate Minority Whip Bobby Pierce, D-Sheridan, has previously acknowledged meeting with national Democratic Party about a possible run, though he has not announced a decision on whether he would seek the party's nomination. A call to Pierce was not been returned.

Following redistricting based on the 2010 census, the Fort Smith metro area is split between the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts.

Crawford County is split almost evenly down the middle with the western half in the 3rd District and the eastern half in the 4th. The city of Alma is split down the middle, with two city precincts voting in the 3rd District and 2 precincts voting in the 4th District. Franklin County was moved out of the 3rd District and into the 4th District. Lavaca and environs in the northeastern corner of Sebastian County are now in the 4th District. Roughly one-third of Sebastian County below Greenwood and below Fort Chaffee and Chaffee Crossing is in the 4th District.