I’ve had Democrats tell me that they think Jackie McPherson, the Heber Springs mayor, is the strongest of the Democrats’ congressional candidates this year, stronger than Patrick Henry Hays in the 2nd or James Lee Witt in the 4th and they are both formidable candidates.
He’s solidly in the middle of the road. He’s got political and personal skills. He’s raised some money. Incumbent 1st District Republican Rick Crawford isn’t a political colossus.
You can get a great flavor of McPherson’s already well-honed messages from Roby Brock of Talk Business, who’s tweeting from a McPherson appearance before Northeast Arkansas Political animals.
* He’ll be more bipartisan and a better problem-solver than Crawford.
* He’d have voted against Obamacare, but thinks the only realistic course now is to improve it, not repeal it. (This happens to be the majority view among Arkansas voters now, according to recent polling.)
* He’ll support a coming phased-in state minimum wage increase, but not the higher federal increase proposed by President Obama. (Again, he’s in the mainstream.) He’s a former restaurant owner, by the way.
* He wouldn’t have separated the food stamp program from the farm bill.
* He would not support Nancy Pelosi for speaker if Democrats regained the House majority. (A sure play to the average white man vote in Arkansas, even if it bugs me.)
* From Roby: “McPherson says he was raised a Democrat. Roads, schools, jobs – big Dem issues. Says he’s running to rally party back to roots.”
Altogether, they should make this a Power Point and pass it around to all the Democratic candidates. Maybe they already have. McPherson bears watching.