Democratic Party Chairman: Presidential nominee to be face of the party ‘in the short term’

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 492 views 

With impeachment buzzing in Washington, D.C., the unexpected departure of a Senate candidate, and a plethora of legislative races on the horizon, Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray has plenty on his plate as his party climbs back out of its slide over the last decade.

In an interview with Talk Business & Politics, Gray said the eventual 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee will be the face of the party “in the short term” as voters decide if they want to give President Donald Trump a second term or go in a different direction. Currently, there are 15 Democrats seeking the nomination.

“By default, they become the face, at least in the short-term, and until someone replaces them,” Gray said. “I want to remind everyone that this time, just a couple of years ago, there were 15 Republican candidates. Donald Trump was seen as just the sideshow. Everybody thought it was [Marco] Rubio’s or Jeb Bush’s to lose, and there are a lot of Republicans today that are saying, Donald Trump’s not the face of our party, but he is. So, at least in the short-term, the presidential nominee becomes the face of the party.”

Gray said that the field of Presidential candidates are offering more than viewpoints on impeachment, although that issue should have bipartisan support for review.

“I think that the Democratic candidates that are seeking the nomination all have some really good ideas about how to continue to lift up the middle class in America, to work for seniors, for people that want to learn new trades, or go to college,” he said. “I would hope that sometime… soon, we start having elections on what we’re going to do, that’s going to help the American people.”

Gray said that party labels should be set aside under the circumstances involving the current impeachment inquiry, which is likely to be formalized this coming week as articles of impeachment. He said that the accusations against Trump are serious.

“So let’s take Democrat and Republican labels off of it for just a second. Is it proper for people that we elect to go to Washington to represent us, to say something doesn’t look right?” Gray asked.

“There seem to be some high-up people that are operating in a manner that is beneath how the United States ought to be operating. We should look at that. That is the responsibility of our elected representatives. It so happens that it’s a Republican President, and a Democratic House of Representatives, but they still have that responsibility.”

Gray said he still hasn’t heard from former U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Josh Mahony. Mahony exited the race about two hours after the filing period closed in November citing a family health concern.

The move left Democratic party officials without a candidate and since Mahony’s withdrawal, there has been no significant communication with him despite multiple efforts. Gray said he has also not seen signs from anyone else in the Mahony family as to the nature of the illness.

“Not hearing from other members of the Mahony family is not something that’s surprising. Family illnesses, family situations are private, and unfortunately we live in a world where privacy isn’t as valuable to some as it used to be, but you have to respect that,” he said.

“I do not subscribe to the theory that they [Cotton campaign] put the squeeze on Josh. However, it says a lot of things about our political system that a incumbent senator would take credit for utilizing the process in such a way that would infer that they almost had some sort of – ‘blackmail’ might not be the fair word – but something to that nature, to get a candidate out where he didn’t have an opponent,” Gray said, in reference to a memo from the Cotton campaign that bragged about having opposition research on Mahony that they held until after filing closed.

The Cotton campaign memo said that “other damaging material that has not been made public” was in the hands of reporters and that “our strategy was to hold our research, allow Mahony to gain momentum to prevent other candidates from entering the race, and work [with] the state Republican Party and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] to release this information after it was too late for anyone else to enter the race.”

“It’s sad to think that if I was a U.S. Senator, I would take credit for operating that way. I don’t know what happened. I know the information that came out about the Mahony discrepancies on his filing was not new. It had came out months before, reported in the Democrat-Gazette. I had extensive conversations with Josh and his campaign team, as well as members of the media, that had reached out to me about it, about the mistakes or the amendments that needed to be made, and that’s truly what we you believe they were, and what was shown to me, that they were. So I think this is just an unfortunate event, and that’s being polite about it, but at the end of the day, only Josh Mahony really knows what’s going on,” Gray said.

You can watch his full interview in the video below.

Democratic Party Chairman: Presidential nominee to be face of the party ‘in the short term’

With impeachment buzzing in Washington, D.C., the unexpected departure of a Senate candidate, and a plethora of legislative races on the horizon, Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray has plenty on his plate.

In an interview with Talk Business & Politics, Gray said the eventual 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee will be the face of the party “in the short term” as voters decide if they want to give President Donald Trump a second term or go in a different direction.

“By default, they become the face, at least in the short-term, and until someone replaces them,” Gray said. “I want to remind everyone that this time, just a couple of years ago, there were 15 Republican candidates. Donald Trump was seen as just the sideshow. Everybody thought it was [Marco] Rubio’s or Jeb Bush’s to lose, and there are a lot of Republicans today that are saying, Donald Trump’s not the face of our party, but he is. So, at least in the short-term, the presidential nominee becomes the face of the party.”

Gray said that the field of Presidential candidates are offering more than viewpoints on impeachment, although that issue should have bipartisan support for review.

“I think that the Democratic candidates that are seeking the nomination all have some really good ideas about how to continue to lift up the middle class in America, to work for seniors, for people that want to learn new trades, or go to college,” he said. “I would hope that sometime… soon, we start having elections on what we’re going to do, that’s going to help the American people.”

Gray said that party labels should be set aside under the circumstances involving the current impeachment inquiry, which is likely to be formalized this coming week as articles of impeachment. He said that the accusations against Trump are serious.

“So let’s take Democrat and Republican labels off of it for just a second. Is it proper for people that we elect to go to Washington to represent us, to say something doesn’t look right?” Gray asked.

“There seem to be some high-up people that are operating in a manner that is beneath how the United States ought to be operating. We should look at that. That is the responsibility of our elected representatives. It so happens that it’s a Republican President, and a Democratic House of Representatives, but they still have that responsibility.”

Gray said he still hasn’t heard from former U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Josh Mahony. Mahony exited the race about two hours after the filing period closed in November citing a family health concern.

The move left Democratic party officials without a candidate and since Mahony’s withdrawal, there has been no significant communication with him despite multiple efforts. Gray said he has also not seen signs from anyone else in the Mahony family as to the nature of the illness.

“Not hearing from other members of the Mahony family is not something that’s surprising. Family illnesses, family situations are private, and unfortunately we live in a world where privacy isn’t as valuable to some as it used to be, but you have to respect that,” he said.

“I do not subscribe to the theory that they [Cotton campaign] put the squeeze on Josh. However, it says a lot of things about our political system that a incumbent senator would take credit for utilizing the process in such a way that would infer that they almost had some sort of – ‘blackmail’ might not be the fair word – but something to that nature, to get a candidate out where he didn’t have an opponent,” Gray said, in reference to a memo from the Cotton campaign that bragged about having opposition research on Mahony that they held until after filing closed.

The Cotton campaign memo said that “other damaging material that has not been made public” was in the hands of reporters and that “our strategy was to hold our research, allow Mahony to gain momentum to prevent other candidates from entering the race, and work [with] the state Republican Party and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] to release this information after it was too late for anyone else to enter the race.”

“It’s sad to think that if I was a U.S. Senator, I would take credit for operating that way. I don’t know what happened. I know the information that came out about the Mahony discrepancies on his filing was not new. It had came out months before, reported in the Democrat-Gazette. I had extensive conversations with Josh and his campaign team, as well as members of the media, that had reached out to me about it, about the mistakes or the amendments that needed to be made, and that’s truly what we you believe they were, and what was shown to me, that they were. So I think this is just an unfortunate event, and that’s being polite about it, but at the end of the day, only Josh Mahony really knows what’s going on,” Gray said.

You can watch his full interview in the video below.

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