Paul Spencer eyeing Democratic challenge to U.S. Rep. French Hill

by Roby Brock ( 952 views 

Paul Spencer (right) in hat at rally.

U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, may have a Democratic challenger in 2018.

On Thursday, June 1, local activist and Catholic High School teacher Paul Spencer said he’s filed paperwork to make a possible Second District Congressional run. In a brief statement, Spencer said he would run as a Democrat.

“The intended purpose of the House of Representatives is to represent the needs of the people. Currently, only the needs of special interests are being represented in the 2nd District. This is evidenced by contemptuous budget priorities, tax policy, and most recently in healthcare policy that demonstrates reckless disregard for the people of Arkansas. Also, in this current unpredictable political climate, Arkansans deserve representation that will vigorously defend and uphold the core values of our democracy and the rule of law,” Spencer said in the release.

Spencer, 50, has advocated for ethics reform at the state level. He has pushed several potential ballot measures to reform campaign financing and the level of lobbyists’ spending with state legislators.

Spencer said he is “disgusted by the growing power of corporate money in politics” and “feels that the citizens of Arkansas deserve better.”

He has been a teacher of History and Government at Catholic High for nearly two decades. Spencer and his wife and three sons also have a small pecan farm and apiary on 15 acres in Scott, Arkansas, according to biographical information released.

Rep. Hill has served the Second Congressional District since his election in 2014. The district has long been considered a competitive one for Democrats due to the strength of Pulaski County’s vote.

There are other names being circulated as potential Democratic challengers. Attorney Bob Edwards of Little Rock is considering a run and small business owner Natashia Burch Hulsey has launched a web site for a race.

Primaries will take place next May and the general election will be in the fall of 2018.

Jacob Kauffman with content partner, KUAR, has an interview with Spencer, which you can access here.