The nonpartisan political group, Common Ground Arkansas, has hired Misty Orpin of Springdale as executive director. Orpin started the website, arkansascovid.com, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email to supporters, State Sen. Jim Hendren, I-Gravette, who started Common Ground Arkansas, said it’s “time to get to work.”
He said the group is in the process of “formally establishing” the organization and recruiting advisors to develop a mission and strategy.
“We’re in the early stages of planning town halls and listening sessions to engage with broad groups of Arkansans to hear their needs and ideas,” he said. “Our first statewide media event is being finalized and will take place soon after I finish my job working for the people of Arkansas in this legislative session. More to come on the details for this event.”
Here’s more on Orpin in a profile published in November 2019 in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.
Hendren formed Common Ground Arkansas in February 2021 when he announced his departure from the Arkansas GOP. He said the group would work to educate on public policy, provide a vehicle for Democrats and Republicans to work on issues, and help recruit and fund moderate political candidates.
“I’m founding Common Ground Arkansas, an organization that will work to find and support leaders willing to come together instead of continuing to push us apart. We want to encourage the trip across the aisle and make it easier to resist forces that continue to push both parties to extremes. We want to provide a home for those that don’t feel comfortable with either party while also working with reasoned and responsible leaders from both parties. You’ll be hearing more about Common Ground Arkansas in the coming days. But I want to invite other leaders – business, political, civic – and citizens to join us in this work. We want folks from both parties and – like me now – no party at all to join us. If you find yourself politically homeless, we’ve got a place for you,” he said at the time.