Sunday, March 09, 2008

A House Divided in Scott County

Rep. Shirley Walters (R) from Scott County

Representative Shirley Walters is a Republican whose district includes Scott and part of Sebastian Counties. She has noted that she is the first Republican to ever hold the seat. She is now facing term limits. A rumor began that her husband Bill was going to run in her place- as a Democrat. She denied knowing about him seeking the office as a Democrat until recently- a denial that was met with some incredulous responses in GOP circles. It now appears that her husband will run as a Democrat because "it will allow him to get more done" in a state legislature dominated by Democrats with a Democrat for a Governor.

Naturally the Republican party of Arkansas feels threatened by a move that could cost them one of "their" seats. It is said that Mrs. Walters has ambitions of running for State Senate in 2010, presumably as a Republican, but one does start to wonder. It is one of the few remaining Republican-leaning areas in the state, and a very conservative Democrat named John Paul Wells is already positioning himself to run for that seat on the Democratic side.

There are so many struggles going on here that it is hard to track them all. GOP State Chairman Dennis Milligan had hopes of recruiting more candidates to office. Instead, he is having a hard time keeping the seats that are currently held by Republicans. There is some indication that the GOP is not taking this lying down- a local businessman has indicated he will run for Walter's seat on the GOP side and rumors are flying that they won't support Shirley Walters should she run for that Senate seat in 2010. If these are efforts to enforce party discipline, they could work or they could backfire and be seen as petty and vindictive. That is why the normal (sadly) way this goes down in our current degraded state of politics is that they whisper the threats in private but deny them in public.

But what about Shirley Walters and her role in this? All indications are that she wants the Republican nomination for the Senate seat, but is a switch in her future too? Would the very liberal Mike Beebe (I know some would argue that, but they're wrong) prefer Shirley Walters to the conservative Democrat John Paul Wells? What was really said at the meeting that Shirley Walters had with Mike Beebe?

Unfortunately what we mostly have on this one are questions. The answers will have to wait.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Paul Wells is far more conservative than Shirley Walters. It very well could be that Beebe would prefer to deal with Mrs. Walters than Mr. Wells.

10:14 PM, March 09, 2008  
Blogger F. Prefect said...

Yes, but John Wellington Wells is a dealer in magic and spells.
In blessings and curses
And ever-filled purses,
In prophecies, witches, and knells.

If you want a proud foe to "make tracks" –
If you'd melt a rich uncle in wax –
You've but to look in
On the resident Djinn,
Number seventy, Simmery Axe!

12:24 PM, March 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey...Mark...Get in touch with me at ...I would like to visit with you about this race...Thanks

8:54 AM, March 19, 2008  

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