The Arkansas House has 100 seats and I don’t intend to keep up with all the campaigns for those seats, except in the broader picture of Democratic Party efforts to recruit sufficient forces to attempt to win back a majority, which Republicans currently hold with 51 seats.
But I can’t help but note with irrational optimism a candidacy in Benton County.
The Democratic Party says Leah Williams, a member of the Bentonville City Council, is a Democratic candidate for District 93. She’s a former Walmart employee and wife of a Walmart employee. She describes herself as a “Christ-loving wife and mother of four.” She emphasizes education and economic development.
There’s a large and dedicated group of Democrats in Benton County, but an even larger and equally fervent group of Republicans of the particularly extreme variety. Time and again, mainstream Republicans have been beaten by extremist Republicans in Benton County (think Tim Summers and Bart Hester.) I’m pessimistic Democratic control of legislative districting presented anything like a winnable House district for Leah Williams. But she’s a successful politician. And the incumbent in the seat, Jim Dotson, simply couldn’t be more remote in the political universe. Beyond Pluto. A straight Guns, Gays, God (pro/anti/pro) type of candidate. Which probable makes him perfect for Benton County.
At least Benton County voters will have a choice. She has an active Facebook page. Check it out.
There’s this: Every hard-working Democratic candidate — even if doomed — adds a little to the overall turnout possibilities. Democrats may not carry Benton County in the U.S. Senate or governor races, for example, but a big vote there is still useful statewide.