Notes from the Campaign Trail: Cotton urges support for Webb in Supreme Court race

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 934 views 

How do you turn the President’s impeachment into a pitch for an independent Supreme Court candidate in Arkansas?

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., sent an email to supporters this week touting the candidacy of Arkansas Supreme Court candidate Barbara Webb, who faces Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch. State Supreme Court seats are nonpartisan.

That said, Webb is the wife of Arkansas GOP chairman Doyle Webb and it wouldn’t be the first time partisans have advocated for a Supreme Court candidate, nor would it be the first time a candidate has benefitted from an affiliation with a political party. Judicial candidates frequently work partisan crowds, in part, because that’s where highly active voters assemble.

Cotton’s email pitch ties himself to President Donald Trump and to Webb.

“Next week is the start of early voting in Arkansas. I’ll be on the ballot along with President Trump and my good friend and fellow conservative Barbara Webb who is running for Arkansas Supreme Court Justice… Vote for three conservatives,” the email states.

“Barbara is a trusted conservative with great experience. She will follow the law as it is written, just like President Trump’s judges. She is exactly who we need on the Arkansas Supreme Court,” Cotton writes.

“I’ve spent the last month fighting the Democrats’ impeachment, and thankfully, President Trump was acquitted. If you agree that impeachment was a sham and you’re tired of liberal judges trying to overturn the election, then please vote for conservative Barbara Webb for Supreme Court Justice,” he added. “Barbara can win, but only if we all turn out. The Democrats will show up to vote for their favorite socialist running for President, so we need great turnout from conservatives to support President Trump and Barbara Webb.”

Welch sent this response to Talk Business & Politics: ”I’ve run my campaign in the spirit of Amendment 80 to the Arkansas Constitution and the judicial ethics rules which require judicial candidates to run without politics. The reason for that is judicial candidates are supposed to represent all the people of Arkansas and not just political activists in one party or another. I am supported by Democrats and Republicans and I intend to give them all a fair trial.”

Cotton is running unopposed in the GOP primary on March 3rd.

Birds of a feather, flock together.

Retired nurse practitioner and State Rep. Denise Garner, D-Fayetteville, will serve as the honorary campaign chair for nurse practitioner and 3rd District Congressional Democratic candidate Celeste Williams.

Williams, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, made the announcement late last week. She said Garner will advise and help with strategy, endorsements and fundraising.

“I’m honored to have Representative Garner support my campaign in this way. We share a common background and common goals for the state of Arkansas. We both want to provide people with the best opportunities to thrive – accessible healthcare, quality education, and fair wages.” Williams said.

“If the 2018 elections proved anything it is that Arkansans are tired of radical partisanship from politicians when our politics should be about helping people,” Garner said. “Celeste has a proven ability to bring people from all walks of life together from her time as a nurse practitioner and community servant. I believe it is time we sent someone to Washington who will break the political gridlock and get positive things done for working class families here at home. We deserve someone like Celeste and I am happy to be serving as her honorary campaign chair.”

Garner is in her first term as State Representative having defeated Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville. She is unopposed in her re-election bid. Williams ran for the State House in 2018, but was defeated.

Ryan Davis and Joy Springer, two Democrats vying for the House District 34 seat vacated by the death of former State Rep. John Walker, D-Little Rock, ended their special election runoff race in a tie… for now.

The unofficial vote tally from Tuesday (Feb. 11) night’s election was 372-372.

However, there are five absentee ballots from military officials overseas that are outstanding and could be received. Also, two provisional ballots were cast that could be ruled eligible by the Pulaski County Election Commission. The panel meets Thursday (Feb. 13) to consider.

This race could get very complicated. There is an independent in the race, Roderick Talley, and the special general election is slated for March 3rd. That’s the same day that the regular Democratic primary election will be held for a new term for the seat. Two Democrats who were eliminated in the special election filed for the regular primary – Otis Tyler and Lee Miller – so they’ll be back at the same time, but on a different ballot, to face Springer and Davis again.

Adding to the confusion, early voting for the special general election begins on Monday, Feb. 17, but the absentee ballots have until Feb. 21 to come in to determine the special election outcome. Clear as mud, right?

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