One of two Democrats seeking the nomination to run for the U.S. House seat representing east Arkansas's 1st District is bowing out of the race due to an undisclosed pending legal issue. Mike Nelson, an Arkansas County farmer, had already been busy attending a range of forums and civic clubs.
Marmaduke resident Robert Butler, a 66-year-old retiree, is now the only Democrat seeking to oust Republican incumbent Rick Crawford. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported Butler favors a national health care system where the government provides private insurance to every citizen, funded through taxes on alcohol, salt, sugar, and caffeine among other items. Crawford easily dispatched a Libertarian challenger in 2016. Democrats didn't field a candidate in that election.
Nelson posted on Facebook today that he'd be unable to run in 2018 though he still holds hope for the 2020 election.
Campaign Withdrawal Statement:
I have known for the past 10 days that it was going to be impossible to continue my campaign for US House. That realization has been quite difficult to handle.
Few things I have attempted in my life have weighed heavier on my head, heart, hands, health, soul and conscience than my attempt to stand up for the unheard voices in my home county, district, state and country.
The ultimate reason for my withdrawal is a pending legal matter that was originally scheduled for April, but last week was put off until November.
It would be completely un-ethical for me to continue fundraising and campaigning until this matter is resolved.
I wish to express my complete adoration for the peoples of the State of Arkansas and other considerate people from around the US and beyond that have supported me.
I believe this legal matter will ultimately be resolved, such that I can re-attempt to be a supportive voice in 2020.
What I will do now, is to be a continuing voice for economic development and investment for our state.
With those formalities out of the way, I would like to address what I have learned over the past year.
First, there are really outstanding people in Arkansas.
I have always been viewed as an intellectual elite.
I now say "NO, I'm Not."
Because?: I Don't Hold a Candle To the Passion, Concern, Determination, Dedication and Common Sense that have been Expressed to me these past many months.
It has completely blown me away.
Second, Partisan politics is a path toward oblivion for a Democracy.
Specific Ideology, by it's own definition, excludes certain groups of people.
If We aren't all working for the Betterment of All of US, No One Else Will Get Better.
Lastly, Communications and Dialog. I have learned that everyone has an opinion and wants answers to their own problems.
Genuine conversations with our neighbors, citizens, opponents and proponents are invaluable.
Walk a Mile in the Other Person's Shoes.
Politics these days are basically "spit in your opponents face. ..then offer a handkerchief, and get fired up when you don't get a "ThankYou"."
There are many reasons to be optimistic toward the future.
But, the starting point for that optimism is locally focused issues.
And the resolution of those issues comes from locally focused communication, dialog and implementation of ideas.
Focusing on Job Viability, Adult Education, Job Skills Training and Also Re-Training are all Absolute Necessities for the 21st Century.
It is the Imperative Obligation of Our Elected Employees to Be Responsive, Available, Responsible, and Dedicated to the Improvement Of Our Local Communities.
That's a Mandate. Period.
Blessings and Success to All.
I Will Deal with my own demoralizing failures.
But I Maintain the Highest Level of Regard for the Citizens of Arkansas.
Mike A. Nelson