Posts in Arkansas
How Two LEAPers Turned GOP "High Ground" Soggy in Arkansas

I wrote last week that Arkansas is Republican high ground. The "blue wave" would have to be a Noah's flood to put this state underwater. This week, let me point out that Northwest Arkansas is the peak of that high ground (with Fayetteville being a kind of spring-fed pond near the top.) Well, it turns out that even high ground can get a little soggy if some rain falls in just the right spot.

Certainly, Denise Garner of Fayetteville's win over incumbent Republican Rep. Charlie Collins was the race Democrats had to win to be taken seriously any more. Collins was the major target. But Collins was the major target because he had baggage. His guns-on-campus bill made him potent enemies. Williams had none. [Megan] Godfrey's win does not include any of Fayetteville either. Her district is pure Springdale.

Garner's win encourages Democrats to challenge vulnerable Republican incumbents. Godfrey's win, however, encourages Democrats to challenge them all.

Garner, a retired nurse practitioner, and Godfrey, an ESL teacher, were both first-time candidates for legislative office, and both ran on strong gun safety platforms, including keeping guns out of the hands of unsafe individuals and out of schools.

Arkansas Republican on the Ropes Over Campus Carry

It’s a sign of the steadily changing tide on public attitudes toward guns that in one of the reddest states in the nation, a seven-year incumbent Republican is catching the most heat over his sponsorship of a campus carry law. And his opponent, LEAPer Denise Garner, is happy to keep him on the defensive.

From the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

No member of the Northwest Arkansas delegation inspired more protests during the last legislative session than Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville. His legislation allows concealed carry permit holders to take weapons onto state college campuses if they get extra training.

"At every meet and greet I go to, the first thing that comes up is guns," Garner said. "The real issue is that Charlie didn't listen, not to faculty or staff, students or parents or the campus police."