Friday, March 5, 2010

Both 1st District GOP candidates to speak Monday in Cabot

On Monday, March 8, the Lonoke County Republican Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting. However, this may well prove to be an exciting and extraordinary event because both Republican candidates for Arkansas' 1st Congressional district will attend and address the committee at Grandpa's BBQ in Cabot.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm, but those who plan to eat should arrive by 6:30.

Rick Crawford has addressed the committee in the past, but in the early stages of his campaign. Crawford began campaigning in April of last year, long before retiring Democrat Congressman Marion Berry was considered vulnerable. The US Army veteran from Jonesboro has trekked the 1st District for nearly a year building a base of grassroots supporters. He embraced the Tea Party movement and counts many of these grassroots activists among his most ardent supporters. He runs a small business that serves the agriculture industry and therefore has deep ties with a key constituency in the 1st District.

Crawford has received endorsements from several groups and key Arkansas Republicans including former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Congressman Ed Bethune, and former Under Secretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson.

The 1st District race recently drew a challenger to Crawford in the form of a 26-year-old congressional staffer of Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao from Louisiana. Princella Smith is originally from Wynne, Ar and has also worked as a spokesperson for Newt Gingrich's organization, American Solutions. In 2006, she worked for current Chairman of the Republican National Convention Michael Steele. Smith attracted national attention after winning MTV's "Stand Up and Holla" contest, which led to her inclusion as a speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Though Smith waited until after Democrat incumbent Marion Berry announced he would not seek re-election this year, she hit the campaign trail running. Gingrich has endorsed her, along with local KARN radio host Dave Elswick. She came out swinging against Crawford in an interview with The American Spectator where she insinuated Huckabee and others may retract their endorsements of Crawford now that she has entered the race.

Both Crawford and Smith support the conservative positions of the GOP platform, but with several Democrats running for the seat being vacated by Berry Republicans need to nominate a candidate who appeals to a majority of voters in the 1st District. Conservative Arkansans cannot risk making an uninformed or ill-informed decision that could result in sending another Congressman to DC who will cast his/her first vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

Electing a Republican to represent the 1st District will guarantee a vote against Pelosi, and will be the first step in taking our country back.

So, please, come meet Crawford and Smith on Monday, hear them speak, ask them questions, and decide for yourself who will best represent the 1st District in DC.

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