Arkansas Politics Blog

Former state Senator Jim Argue
Karen Tricot Steward / KUAR News

Jim Argue, a former state lawmaker and president of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, died on Thursday at the age of 66, succumbing to a brief battle with kidney cancer. Argue played a major role in shaping education laws and building up the Methodist Foundation’s assets.

The long-time Little Rock resident served in the Arkansas Legislature from 1991 to 2008. He served in the House from 1991 through 1996. He then moved to the upper chamber, which included time as President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson looking at demonstrators outside of Parris Tower in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made three stops in central Arkansas on Tuesday and was greeted at each destination by demonstrators opposed to his recent proposals for new public housing restrictions. 

Take a listen to the audio link above for the story.

In the Republican gubernatorial primary, incumbent Asa Hutchinson has secured an endorsement from Arkansas Right to Life. In a statement, Hutchinson praised the group and touted lengthening waiting periods for women to get an abortion, parental consent laws, and blocking Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

C-SPAN

Ben Carson, the one-time presidential candidate and current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is making several stops in North Little Rock on Tuesday. It comes as

State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow) standing presiding over the unveiling of the state Capitol's new 10 Commandments monument.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A new Ten Commandments monument has been installed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol. It comes nearly a year after an identical monument was destroyed. 

Last June, a mentally ill man deliberately drove his car into the 6,000-pound granite tablet less than 24 hours after it was erected. Michael T. Reed II had destroyed a similar monument in Oklahoma back in 2014.

State Senator Jason Rapert shepherded the authorization of the Arkansas monument in 2015. Today, he presided at the unveiling of its replacement.

Almost all the action in Democratic state House primaries next month is taking place in central Arkansas. The seat for House District 33 is open after a high profile incumbent, Warwick Sabin, announced he is exploring a run for mayor.

The primary election is between Tippi McCullough and Ross Noland. The primary winner faces no opposition in the November general election.

Take a listen to the audio link above to hear the candidates thoughts about education, UAMS, public safety, and legislative leadership.

Gwen Combs at the Women's March for Arkansas in January 2017.
Combs Campaign.

Gwen Combs, one of four Democratic candidates in the 2nd Congressional District primary, has secured an endorsement from the National Organization for Women. NOW describes itself as the “largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States.”

In a statement to the Combs’ campaign, the president of the Arkansas NOW chapter said, "Since 1966, NOW has worked to empower women at work, at home, under the law, in health choices and as equal citizens. Gwen's steadfast leadership demonstrates that she will prioritize full equality for women and girls if elected."

French Hill
Talk Business & Politics

U.S. Representative French Hill is sending off House Speaker Paul Ryan with praise and has favorable impressions of possible replacements. The 2nd District Republican Congressman spoke about the House Speaker and US-China trade issues in an interview with KUAR.

Take a listen to the link above.

Doyle Webb
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Will Arkansas see the impact of a Democratic blue wave in this year’s elections? The chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties of Arkansas walked through their electoral ambitions this cycle, at Thursday’s meeting of the Political Animals Club.

Doyle Webb, the head of the state’s Republican Party, said he doesn’t see much cause to worry about a so-called negative “Trump effect.”

Second Congressional District candidate Clarke Tucker (D).
clarketucker.com

A frontrunner has emerged – at least in financial backing – in the four-person U.S. Second Congressional District Democratic primary. Clarke Tucker’s campaign reported a first quarter fundraising total of over a half-million dollars, ending the period with $440,000 cash on hand. Republican incumbent French Hill has $1.3-million cash on hand. Tucker’s only been running since February 5th.

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