Republicans are tickled. Mike Ross will have to spend some money in the Democratic primary. He drew an opponent today — Lynette “Doc” Bryant of Little Rock. She’s been active politically, but unsuccessfully.
She lost a Democratic primary race for state House of Representatives in 2010 and also lost a race for Little Rock City Board that year. She lost a race for Little Rock City Board in 2012.
Bryant has registered as an individual lobbyist as recently as 2011, but that year all quarterly reports showed no lobbying activity. She did video testimonials for Sen. Blanche Lincoln, particularly supporting her stand on health care, in Lincoln’s losing race in 2010. She was a delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Barack Obama won the nomination. Bryant lost a recent race for chair of the Pulaski County Democratic Committee to Dawne Vandiver, I was told by another Democratic official.
Voice mailbox on the phone number she left at filing isn’t activated. No answer at her west Little Rock home. She’s the organizer of Bryant Consulting, according to state corporate filings, which don’t identify the nature of the business. Bryant has identified herself in the past as a medical doctor, but her name does not appear today on the website directory of currently licensed Arkansas medical doctors. She was identified in an AP account today as a substitute teacher. KATV said Bryant acknowledged that, while she had a medical degree, she’d never practiced.
There’s a $12,000 filing fee to run for governor. When Bryant ran for state House in 2010, she spent just under $10,000, with about $3,700 of her own money and a significant amount of the rest from local doctors. She told KATV that she was unhappy with Mike Ross’ decision to leave Congress.
“I would have respected him more had he stayed in that office got to this point and said, ‘Now, I want to be your governor.’ Then I would say, ‘You know what, you’ve got my vote.’ But, when he left, he left the door open for anyone to get in. He no longer wanted to do it,” said Bryant.
With a contested primary, the Democratic Party can’t wrap itself in Ross’ candidacy as it has been doing. But Ross was going to spend many of his primary dollars anyway to stay on the air. A contested race also doesn’t prevent independent Democratic expenditures tearing down Republican front-runner Asa Hutchinson as Ross’ touts his strengths.