Election Central: Signature Day At The State Capitol

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 96 views 

From the Election Central campaign trail, today’s major and minor political headlines:

It was signature day at the state capitol — not the latest recruiting class of Razorback signees, but time to turn in petitions for proposed ballot initiatives for the Fall.  

There were two statewide proposals that made the initial July 7 deadline for signatures, including a possible increase in the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour and an effort to make all counties in the state of Arkansas “wet,” or open to liquor sales.  

A medical marijuana initiative failed to secure the signatures it needed to qualify.

The Secretary of State’s office will spend the next several weeks reviewing the petition signatures.  During that time, the groups supporting the measures will have a chance to obtain additional signatures to meet the threshold needed to qualify for the November 4th ballot.

If those measures qualify, they will join three other proposed constitutional amendments that the state Legislature referred to voters.  

Arkansans will have the chance to vote on an ethics reform proposal that also alters the state’s term limits law.  And there are two other legislatively-referred proposals including one to provide legislative oversight of executive branch rules and one to strengthen the signature collection process for voter-referred proposals.

GOP Senate hopeful Cong. Tom Cotton has capitalized on his mother and father in his campaign commercials. This week, Sen. Mark Pryor is leaning on his popular parents.  

Former Arkansas Governor and Senator David Pryor and former First Lady Barbara Pryor will hit the campaign trail for their son. 

This week, the Pryors will visit Arkadelphia, Benton, El Dorado, Hope, Hot Springs and Magnolia, with more stops planned for the weeks ahead.

The nationals are taking a look at the high-profile Senate race. Politico has rated the Arkansas U.S. Senate race as the No. 2 race most likely to flip from Democrat to Republican this year.

Writes Politico:
“Pryor, who didn’t even draw a Republican opponent in 2008, is a skilled retail campaigner with an independent image. But Arkansas has grown more conservative, and Pryor has voted for every signature Obama initiative, including Obamacare. Despite Cotton’s controversial votes, whether against the farm bill or the Violence Against Women Act, he is a slight favorite at this point.”

Fourth District GOP Congressional nominee Bruce Westerman picked up the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business. The group said Westerman had a 100% small business voting record during the 89th Arkansas General Assembly. Westerman faces Democratic nominee James Lee Witt in November.