Vice President Mike Pence travelled to Little Rock on Friday (Sept. 21) to rally Republican troops for U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, and the GOP ticket in November.
Speaking at a rally at the Statehouse Convention Center, Pence touted accomplishments of President Trump’s administration, such as the 2017 tax cuts and a booming economy, and said Hill was paramount to continuing Trump’s agenda.
“He always puts Arkansas first,” Pence told the crowd before recalling Hill’s business and political biography.
“You all know the story better than I do, but I like repeating it. He stepped up to serve another president’s economic policy. He served in that administration, but then he came right home here, worked in business, he was a community banker, a community leader. He helped local businesses, small businesses, farmers, but for the past four years French Hill has been fighting for every Arkansas family in the Republican Majority,” Pence said, referencing Hill’s work in the Bush I administration, his time as a bank CEO, and his current status as a two-term Congressman.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana and a former Congressman, also spoke glowingly of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is running for re-election. The Vice President said both Hill and Hutchinson had been “great” for job growth and the economy.
Other Republican elected officials joining the event included Lt. Governor Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Senator Tom Cotton, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.
Cotton told the group that the stakes were high in the upcoming election.
“I know you all recognize how important this election is. We can’t afford to give it back to the Democrats,” he said. “Please keep it up for the next seven weeks.”
Although there were protestors outside of the convention center event, a few did make their way in and disrupt the proceedings briefly.
Democratic State Rep. Clarke Tucker, Hill’s main challenger this November, campaigned door-to-door during the late afternoon hours. He tweeted earlier in the day that Pence’s visit “speaks volumes about how close this race is.”
Tucker also said, “Call me strange, but I am excited that the Vice President is coming to our district today to participate in this race. His visit shows that Congressman Hill knows he is vulnerable in this election because he has a record that’s indefensible.”
Libertarian Joe Swafford is also a candidate for the Second District Congressional seat.
Editor’s note: Content partner KATV News contributed to this report.