The shift in Saline County from Democrat to Republican has been amazingly rapid over the last few election cycles.
Only six years ago, all county elected officials and most of the state legislators and quorum court members were Democrats. This year, the candidate filings show how much the landscape has changed with 38 Republican candidates compared to only three Democrats.
One name jumped out to me when I was looking at the list. Mike Creekmore is currently the Justice of the Peace for District 11. He was elected last time as a Democrat. He also served three terms in the Arkansas House as a Democrat and his wife, Dawn Creekmore, followed him and was also elected as a Democrat. But for 2014, Creekmore filed as a Republican.
Shelli Russell with Saline County blog, MySaline, caught up with him to make sure this was not a clerical error. It was not.
“Yes, I did switch. It seemed like a natural fit for me as I am conservative. My voting record in the House of Representatives was very conservative,” Creekmore told Russell. “While serving in the House, I had a 100% pro-life voting record. I also had a 100% voting record with the NRA. I also opposed tax increases, being one of the few who voted against ACT 107 that raised the sales tax from 5.12 to 6 percent and it also taxed 15 services that were not taxed prior to that. I also opposed and voted against ACT 38 that put a 3% income tax surcharge and taxed tobacco products to name a few.”
It is just another sign that Arkansas is moving from a blue state to a red state. The shift is steadily working its way down to the local level. Conservative Democrats like Creekmore are finding it increasingly difficult to be in a party that is becoming more liberal each year.