Mark Martin Announces for Sec. of State
Well, you can't tell here that they had similar coloration, and Skelton did not have access to a blow dryer, but IMHO Martin bears a passing resemblance (in looks, voice, and zany sense of humor) to a young version of the late-great Red Skelton.
Not every Republican in Arkansas is running to replace the popular-as-a-polyp Senator Blanche Lincoln. State Representative Mark Martin "gets it" that somebody ought to run for some of those other state-wide offices. Martin announced for Secretary of State the day before yesterday. Actually, he meant to announce yesterday but a reporter asked him point blank if the press conference he called was going to be an announcement that he was going to run. "I couldn't lie to him" Martin said of the off-beat uncontrolled launch of the campaign.
What? You couldn't lie to a member of the media? What kind of a politician are you? Rest assured, they will lie about you if you don't toe the line. Actually that is just a bit of humor folks. He might want to practice giving non-answers, but I take it as a good thing that he is compulsive in honesty.
Martin is best known for the passion with which he supports limited government, a bent towards philosophy, and the aforementioned zany sense of humor. Like Skelton, he is frequently the target of his own jests. In the last session he backed pro-freedom bills that allowed people to buy raw milk and openly carry firearms. He also pushed a measure that would re-allocate existing education funding so that money being spent to educate children with autism and cerebral palsy could be used in a more flexible, parent-directed, manner. Those bills met opposition from entrenched interests who don't seem to trust regular people and their ability to manage their own lives without government direction.
Martin is also known for his live blogging of committee hearings via his blog "Off the Marble", which I sometimes use as a resource for my commentary.
There are five Democrats vying to replace outgoing Sec. of State Charley Daniels. Some guy from Conway whose name escapes me at the moment (it seems these days like every time four guys from Conway get together one of 'em decides he ought to run for something big) is also considering running as a Republican.