Early voting continues statewide and campaigns are focused on getting people to the polls who typically only cast ballots during presidential elections. Monday, the first day of early voting, over 24,000 votes were cast according to the Associated Press. That total exceeded the last midterm by over 3,000 votes but fell well short of 2012’s general election total.
Democrats Mark Pryor and Pat Hays stopped in North Little Rock Tuesday to continue trying to motivate the electorate. Speaking at the senior citizens center that bears his name 2nd Congressional District candidate Pat Hays identified an issue near and dear to those who frequent the facility.
“Social Security and Medicare are under threat. There are partisans that are attacking them with ideas for private vouchers for Medicare, privatization for Social Security, and the voters have overwhelmingly rejected those ideas as being not in the mainstream for those of us wanting to ensure that the future for our children and grandchildren is the same future we had,” said Hays.
Hays faces Republican French Hill and Libertarian Debbie Standiford. Sitting Representative Tim Griffin is not seeking re-election in Congress and is running to be lieutenant governor. In a statement Hill's campaign manager Jack Sisson refuted Hays's charge on privatization. (UPDATE STATEMENT)
"French Hill does not support privatizing Social Security and Medicare--he believes we must preserve, protect, strengthen and secure these critical programs. That starts by repealing the President's health care law, which raided $800 billion from the Medicare Trust Fund to fund new, mostly non-senior spending."
Hays announced his campaign almost a year ago from the same senior citizens center in North Little Rock. It sits just a few hundred feet away from Laman Library, a high-traffic polling place.
Meanwhile GOP gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson announced he is embarking on a swing through west Arkansas to turn-out supporters in advance of November 4th.