It's the most wonderful time of the year--for an inky wretch. There's a cool snap in the air, football in the background, and even the politicians visiting our offices are counting down the days to the election. (Ten, nine, eight, seven . . . .)
This is also the time of the year when some of our friends tease us--calling us the Arkansas Republican-Gazette. Because we have conservative views and tend to favor the more conservative candidates. (Someday we'll explain how we explain the paper's name to out-of-town visitors. Especially the ones from Washington, D.C., unfamiliar with Arkansas history.)
But in the legislative races, this year we will recommend two Democrats in good standing. We think they're not only attractive to their districts, but high-energy, too.
Did we mention high-energy? You're not going to find a person more high-energy than this Jonathan Crossley fella. The background music to his life must be the fast electronic dance stuff. (What is love!) He talks fast. He thinks fast. He rattles off so many good ideas that we have to ask him to slow down so we can take it all down.
He's an educator, a teacher of the year in this state, a former principal in Little Rock--brought in by the high-energy Baker Kurrus--and is one of the youngest people with the longest résumé we've come across. He wants to (deep breath) clean-up-government-give-kids-more-education-options-continue-Arkansas-Works-prep-young-people-for-the-workforce-partner-with-business-to-improve-schools . . . .
As a former school teacher, it's refreshing that he didn't spend his time with us by blasting charter schools. Instead, he said traditional schools and charter schools should collaborate to do what is right for kids: "There are excellent education models in charters. There are excellent models in public schools." Jonathan Crossley is running for the state House of Representatives in District 41--and we recommend.
Another Democrat running for the state House, Andrew Collins, also doesn't appear to be hostile, or opposed, to charter schools. (You'd be surprised how many Democrats are.) Mr. Collins is running in House District 35.
As for positions, he seems a reliable Democrat, but as a governor named Huckabee once said of his own beliefs, he ain't mad about it: Arkansas Works is working. So let it. The GIF program should be a thing of the past. Red-flag laws and universal background checks are smart ideas. And, "Introducing people to the prison system is a good way to see they return." So why not find other options for many offenders? Andrew Collins is an attorney and an advocate for the homeless, so he knows about these things. And with a legislature surely to remain Republican for a while yet, the Democrats will need moderates like him in their party, if only to use as a translator.
Before we move on to Republicans, it should be noted that there are Democrats of other stripes running in this election, too. Democrats with, shall we say, less-than-moderate views. Because of them, there are a number of Republicans we must endorse:
State Rep. Jim Sorvillo should be re-elected in District 32, Rep. Carlton Wing should be re-elected in District 38, and Rep. Mark Lowery should be re-elected in District 39.
Jim Sorvillo co-sponsored the measure referred to voters this year known as Issue 1. It's DOA because the courts ruled that it was too scatter-shot of a ballot issue. But it had good ideas all throughout, such as setting caps on lawyers' fees and limiting certain lawsuit damages. His opponent is very much against such ideas. More's the reason to support Jim Sorvillo.
Carlton Wing's campaign leads you to the kinds of bills that he's sponsored, or co-sponsored, and it reads like a who's who, or a what's what, of good legislation. He's right there in the fight for the unborn, and he's taken the lead on some bills trying to negotiate all this "medical" marijuana stuff. (Can employers be allowed to test for marijuana? They should be. Can joints be sold in vending machines? They shouldn't be.) Carlton Wing deserves another term representing folks north of the river in District 38.
And Mark Lowery has been one of the leads, if not the lead, on voter identification bills. Now laws. It shouldn't be harder to cash a check than to vote. It's an important part of this democracy. Mark Lowery has also co-sponsored legislation to push traditional schools into making buildings available for charters, and has supported tax cuts and support for home-schooled kids. Voters in his District 39 should give him another term.
It won't be long now, Mr. and Mrs. Voter. And then the 2020 election campaign season can begin.
Seven, six, five, four . . . .
Editorial on 10/30/2018
Print Headline: A good line-up