Vice President Mike Pence will campaign in Little Rock next week for U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., who political science experts say faces the toughest re-election bid among Arkansas' four Republican congressmen.
Pence, a Republican from Indiana, is set to appear at a rally supporting Hill on Sept. 21 at the Statehouse Convention Center. The rally will be free to the public, but those hoping to attend must RSVP, state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb said in an email Thursday to supporters.
Hill, who was first elected to represent Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District in 2014, is being challenged by Little Rock Democrat Clarke Tucker, a state representative and attorney, and Maumelle Libertarian Joe Swafford. The district covers seven central Arkansas counties.
"I am honored to have the Vice President in central Arkansas next week to stress the importance of getting out to vote in November," Hill said Thursday. "Maintaining a majority in Congress that wants to work with the Administration is vital to keeping our pro-growth agenda working and in place. We need to continue to deliver pro-family and pro-business policies; not more big government policies like a Medicare for All (opt-in) program which my opponent supports. As a former governor of Indiana, the Vice President understands the challenges Arkansas faces in creating a stronger economy. But he also understands the great possibilities we possess for further economic expansion. Vice President Pence will deliver a great message."
Tucker said Thursday that Pence's involvement shows that the Hill campaign recognizes the incumbent is vulnerable because of an "indefensible" record.
"It makes sense that Vice President Pence would come to Arkansas because he and Congressman Hill both support a policy that makes health care either much more difficult or impossible for the million people in this state that have a pre-existing condition," Tucker said. "It also makes sense because Congressman Hill is a reliable party-line voter and has generally failed in Congress' duty to represent the people in their districts by providing a check and balance on the administration."
Pence was scheduled to visit and make a public appearance in Little Rock in March 2017, but that visit was canceled shortly before. The visit would have coincided with a planned vote on a controversial health care bill in the U.S. House, but that particular vote was ultimately canceled.
The Sept. 21 rally is scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m. and conclude at 5:45 p.m. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.
Those wanting to attend the rally can RSVP at https://hillpence.eventbrite.com.
Metro on 09/14/2018