State Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, released her first major campaign video Monday, June 1, highlighting her personal story and philosophy.
The 2:32 video, “I Will Fight for You,” will be promoted nationally on digital platforms, the campaign said.
The ad does not mention her opponent, Rep. French Hill, R.-Ark., who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District composed of seven Central Arkansas counties.
It comes days after Elliott’s campaign announced May 28 that she had been added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, which so far is supporting 19 candidates opposing Republican House incumbents. In 2018, more than 90 Democratic campaigns were part of the program, which provides organizational and fundraising support.
A press release from Elliott’s campaign said six of the seven African American candidates that supported the program won their races in the 2018 cycle.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, Elliott had $341,528 cash on hand as of March 31. Her campaign has raised $442,000. Hill had raised $1.674 million and had $1.279 million cash on hand.
Elliott spent 30 years as a high school teacher. She was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2000 and served three terms. She was elected to the state Senate in 2008.
This is Elliott’s second attempt to represent the 2nd District. In 2010, she received 38% of the vote while losing to Republican Tim Griffin, now the state’s lieutenant governor. That year, she raised just over $1 million.
Hill was elected to Congress in 2014. That year, he defeated North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays, 52-44%. Hill won 58% of the vote in 2016, defeating Democrat Dianne Curry. He won 52% of the vote in 2018, defeating then-state Rep. Clarke Tucker, D-Little Rock, who had 46% of the vote.
In the video, Elliott said she had always wanted to be a schoolteacher and wanted to be in politics since she was 10 years old. She attended segregated schools growing up in Willisville, Arkansas, and then faced opposition attending a previously all-white high school. She said Dr. Martin Luther King, who was assassinated when she was 17, was an inspiration because he spoke about there being two Americas.
“I want to be that person who represents them in Washington who won’t forget what it was like to grow up in Willisville, what it was like when I wanted someone to stand up for me and when nobody did,” she says in the video, which you can watch below.