Editor’s note: Notes from the Campaign Trail is a compilation of various political insider tidbits and is sponsored by Little Rock-based Capitol Advisors Group.
LEGISLATIVE LEADERS LIKELY TO STAY PUT
State Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, was re-elected to his post as leader of the 35-member chamber on Wednesday. Dismang, who has served in the Arkansas legislature since the beginning of the 2009 regular session, became Senate President in the 2015 session. He’ll take another two-year stint at the helm for the 2017 regular session, also known as the 91st General Assembly.
Current Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, wants to serve another term as speaker. The 100-member House will vote Monday when they return to formally adjourn the fiscal session. Gillam, who has proven to be a pretty popular leader, is expected to glide to re-election to the House’s top post.
RUTLEDGE NAMED TO TOP 50 GOP WOMEN LIST
Newsmax has compiled a list of 50 of the most influential female Republicans who will play a key role in shaping America’s future. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made the cut at No. 50, joining the ranks of Sarah Palin, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, author and talk show host Laura Ingraham, and former Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Rutledge, the first female and Republican attorney general in state history, is the only Arkansas Republican on the list.
CONNER ELDRIDGE ON MSNBC, SEN. TOM COTTON ON FOX NEWS
The Arkansas Senate spotlight had a notable national flair on Thursday. Democrat Conner Eldridge, who is challenging incumbent GOP Sen. John Boozman, appeared on MSNBC. Eldridge’s online ad tying Boozman to Republican Presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump has been stirring some buzz in social media circles.
The ad lists many of the sexist and inappropriate comments that Trump has made over the years and the current campaign cycle. Eldridge has called on Boozman – who says he’ll support Trump – to disavow the statements.
Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, has been critical of the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling of the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Fox News Channel’s Special Report highlighted Cotton’s “EPA Accountability in Flint Act” during their coverage of the President’s trip to Flint. Click here to watch the video in full.
“President Obama is absolutely correct that the responsible parties must be held accountable and that we must fix the mindset of neglect that caused the disaster in Flint. That is why it is imperative that we address the irresponsibility and lack of transparency at the EPA and why we should pass the EPA Accountability in Flint Act immediately,” Cotton said.