More than 200 attend Democrat event
LITTLE FLOCK — There will be a backlash to Republican rule both nationally and in the state, but the Democrats…
LITTLE FLOCK — There will be a backlash to Republican rule both nationally and in the state, but the Democrats will not benefit from it unless they know their fellow citizens’ concerns and are ready to act on them when and if they get the chance, an analyst told the annual Little Flock Picnic.
The picnic is a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Benton County, an event with a history of at least 50 years. At least 200 people attended this year’s event, held from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Little Flock City Park.
“We need to get back into our communities and get out from in front of our computer screens,” said Jessica DeLoach, a political analyst based in Little Rock. She is also communications director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas but said in her remarks she was speaking as an analyst and not for the state party.
As recently as the 2010 elections, Democratic candidates held most statewide offices in state government. Now they hold none.
“There’s a big reason I came out from under my rock,” said Karen Showalter of Gentry, a first-time participant at the picnic. “We can protest all we want but we need to get people elected.”
Both Democratic candidates for secretary of state attended Saturday’s event: Anthony Bland and Susan Inman.
In interviews Saturday, both Inman and Bland stressed the importance of the secretary of state’s office during a time of one-party sway over state government. The secretary of state oversees elections and would be in a position to protect the voting rights of all Arkansans.
“The best way to prevent voter fraud is to put qualified people in office,” said Inman, who has previously worked in the Elections Division of the secretary of state’s office and also has served as election director for Pulaski County, the most populous county in the state.
Bland said that with a doctorate in business administration who has worked for a security company, he is the most qualified to ensure election integrity for all voters, and to oversee the State Capitol Police, another duty of the secretary of state. He is a business consultant and a media technician for the Little Rock School District.
Current secretary of state Mark Martin, a Republican, is not running for re-election, having reached the two-term limit in the state constitution for the office. His successor will be one of the three members of the State Board of Apportionment, along with the governor and the attorney general. Those three will be responsible for laying out the new borders of state legislative districts after the 2020 census.
Both Bland and Inman said they would keep a close eye on attempts to gerrymander districts to ensure one-party control of the state Legislature if elected. The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the Republican primary, which also has two announced candidates so far. Those are Rep. Trevor Drown, R-Dover, and state and state land commissioner John Thurston of Little Rock.
NW News on 09/17/2017
Source: NWA Online Northwest Arkansas News More than 200 attend Democrat event