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Candidates speak at Ice Castle

By submitted, 05/11/22 4:42 PM

HOPE – It was a GOP love fest at the Ice Castle event center Tuesday night.

Republican candidates came to tell the audience why they should be elected in the May 24 primary election or the November general election. It began with Dan Ford reading selective sections of the Arkansas Constitution.

Doc Washburn was the featured speaker as he’s seeking the GOP nomination for Governor against Sarah Sanders. If elected, he said, the first thing he would do would be to call the Texas governor, who’s promised to close the border, and ask when this will be done because till the border with Mexico is closed, all 50 states are border states and illegals are free to come to the US, kill people and commit other crimes.

He flat out said abortion should be illegal, adding those who take lives should forfeit their own. He attacked Gov. Asa Hutchinson who’s said he doesn’t want to violate the federal law on abortion. Washburn said this will allow blue states to keep killing babies.

He told the audience he’s challenged Sanders to a debate, but she’s refused. Washburn continued, saying Sanders has also sided with Hutchinson saying he’s done a good job. He added she’s basically in the pocket of Wal-Mart, Tyson and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

If elected, he continued, he’ll govern based on the golden rule, and won’t allow state agencies to take children away from their homes without due process. He said employees with these agencies would be required to wear body cams to record what happens during their visits. He also blasted the Arkansas Department of Human Services saying it doesn’t inspect nursing homes, which allows some to keep senior citizens in less than sanitary conditions. He promised to sign an executive order on day one protecting seniors. Veterans, he added, shouldn’t be homeless and he’ll do what he can to help them.

Washburn promised to eliminate the state personal income tax and the tax on small business completely, in one move, instead of small portions. Arkansas, he said, is one of the highest taxed states in the nation and has a $1.2 billion surplus. He said the tax on all kinds of stuff can be cut, such as used cars, which are taxed each time they’re sold.

The state government, he continued, can be trimmed, to get it out of the public’s pocket and off its back.

The meeting kicked off with Lizzy Hale, wife of 8th Judicial District North candidate, Ben Hale, speaking for her husband, who was under the weather. She said he’s a servant at home and leader in the community, while also being a leader at home and servant in the community. She said he’s on the phone at all hours, talking to law enforcement, medical personnel, school personnel and neighbors about their concerns, pacing back and forth all the while.

He continued working when Covid-19 hit, catching it twice, but constantly working for the people of Hempstead and Nevada counties. “He has no plans but to show up for law enforcement and you,” she said. “He works for victims and is a third generation attorney. He doesn’t think of himself and he loves this place.”

Next up was Blake Montgomery, also vying for the prosecutor’s position. He talked about coming to Hope and opening his own firm upon graduation from the UA school of law when he was 22,saying he’s been running for this job the last seven years and has represented more than 2,000 people in the last seven years. The current PA’s office, he said, has been leading the district in the wrong direction, giving probation to for-profit drug dealers with no jail time, and allowing repeat offenders probation as well. The current office, he continued, blames others and makes excuses, but he won’t and will put those who belong behind bars behind them, if elected.

Lonnie Goodwin, Independent candidate for State Sen. Dist. 4, followed, saying he’s running because it’s something he felt needed to be done as the incumbent’s record is absurd and someone needs to step up. He said he hears people and knows their concerns as they are disillusioned and disenfranchised.

Charles Beckham, State Sen. candidate for District 3, is seeking reelection, having won in 2019. He told the audience he votes on “heaven and hell” issues, voting for what’s right, not what’s easy. He claimed to have a stellar voting record and accomplished great things, including fighting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) when it wanted to double the cost of hunting and fishing licenses, as well as helping stop the SAFE act, which would prevent sex changes in children, something he said the state Chamber wants.

Sabina Coulter was on the agenda as an Angel Mom. Angel Moms are mothers who’ve lost children who’ve been killed by illegal aliens. She talked about how her son,Dominique, was killed by an illegal from Guatemala who’d been arrested on felony charged before, had two DUI charges and been deported once, but returned. She told of being a naturalized citizen, immigrating from Germany and following the process to become a citizen.

Coulter said former President Donald Trump coined the term Angel Mom, and how she met him in 2015 when he announced his candidacy. She said he was told of her situation and how the media ignored her, but took her into a room full of press to tell her story, and had her on the campaign trail for the same reason. She said calling illegal aliens isn’t racist because it’s what they are and securing the border affects everyone.