U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, has dominated his recent races in Arkansas’ First Congressional District. He’s done so well since he was first elected in 2010 that he won’t have a primary or general election opponent in 2020.
The filing period ended at noon Tuesday (Nov. 12) and Crawford was the only candidate that filed in the race. No Democrats, Libertarians, Independent or Green Party candidates filed for the office.
First elected in 2010, Crawford was the first Republican elected in the district since Reconstruction. In 2010, he defeated Democrat Chad Causey and then beat 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington in 2012. He soundly beat challenger Chintan Desai in 2018.
Crawford told Talk Business & Politics that he thinks part of the reason he doesn’t have an opponent is due to President Donald Trump’s economic policies and the state of the economy.
“I have always believed that my office is one of service and advocacy for the people of Arkansas. It is very telling that no one decided to run against the President’s record economy, tough stance on China, and better trade deals like USMCA. I plan on continuing to work just as hard this coming term as I set out to do when I was first elected over nine years ago,” Crawford said.
Crawford made national headlines last week when he temporarily gave up his House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Many national political pundits viewed the move as a way to get a more firebrand supporter of the president on the committee.
There are several primary and general election races at the state level in Northeast Arkansas that will generate a lot of interest. State Senate District 21 incumbent John Cooper, R-Jonesboro, faces a GOP primary challenge from State House Rep. Dan Sullivan also of Jonesboro.
Three Republicans – Cole Peck, Bobby Long, and Jon Milligan – will vie to be the GOP candidate in Sullivan’s house district 53 race. The winner will face Democrat Shawn Only in the general election.
State House 55 incumbent and Democrat Monte Hodges of Osceola will be challenged by Republican Gary Tobar. In the district 58 house race, Republican incumbent Brandt Smith faces a primary challenge from Ken Yarborough and the winner of that race will compete with Democrat Jim Burton in the general election. State House District 59 incumbent Jack Ladyman, a Republican, will be challenged by Democrat Reginald “Ray” Prunty next November.