Democratic congressional candidate passes Arkansas State Senate race

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A candidate who had hoped to challenge the outgoing Republican from central Arkansas, United States Representative French Hill has said he is ending his campaign and heading for a race for the state Senate.

Democrat Nick Cartwright said Monday he is no longer running for Arkansas 2nd Congressional District and instead will run for State Senate District 18, a seat currently held by Senator Jonathan Dissman, R-Beebe. It comes as the state legislature has proposed new district maps that would drastically change the boundaries of the state’s four seats in the US House of Representatives.

In an interview, Cartwright said the redistribution wasn’t necessarily a factor in his decision to quit the congressional race.

“We were against what the legislature did in Pulaski County, did in the 2nd District; remove the majority of people of color from the district and add an almost all-white county, ”Cartwright said. “That being said, we actually saw this as an opportunity to get into a county that is closer to my home and more rural, so I figured I could get in touch with these people.”

The new US House district map that received initial legislative approval adds Cleburne County to District 2 and excludes part of southeastern Pulaski County.

Cartwright cited fundraising challenges, saying he raised just under $ 20,000 in the last quarter. He says he also did not receive any advice from national Democratic Party organizers, who had invested significant resources in previous campaigns for the 2nd District seat.

“I think this district kind of left a bad taste in your mouth with its proximity in the polls and then the margins ended up being bigger than you expected,” Cartwright said. “I think we’re finding that across the country they’re a bit hesitant to put in a ton of resources at first, so I think it struck me as someone who maybe didn’t have that much. name identification as a Joyce Elliott or a Clarke Tucker.

Joyce Elliott and Clarke Tucker, both Democratic senators from Little Rock, faced Rep. Hill in the 2nd District race in 2020 and 2018, respectively. While the polls for both races showed a neck-and-neck contest in the days leading up to the election, Elliott and Tucker both ended up losing by more than five points.

Cartwright says running for the state legislature will give him more time to focus on issues affecting rural Arkansans, such as better access to broadband internet service and improved public education. Cartwright says the new state Senate district map creates a more competitive district, potentially increasing Democrats’ chances.

“I want to give a voice to the rural people of White County, Faulkner and Cleburne County because for so long they really had no choice at the polls. And so, regardless of the party, I’m excited to see where the talk is going in this race. “

Senator Jonathan Dissman, R-Beebe, has not said whether he is running for re-election and has considered running for lieutenant governor in the past. With Cartwright’s exit from the race, educator and entrepreneur Quintessa Hathaway is now the only Democrat to challenge Republican Representative French Hill for the seat of the 2nd Congressional District.


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