A CLOSER LOOK: U.S. Senate race

Your Local Election

Harrington (L), Cotton (R)

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — We take a closer look at competitive races that will impact Northwest Arkansans on Election Day.

U.S. Senate Race

Junior U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R), incumbent, and Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L) are running for U.S. Senate Arkansas

Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton is an Arkansas native and has a bachelor’s and a law degree from Harvard University.

He served in the Army from 2005 to 2009.

He’s worked as a law clerk and then as a lawyer with a private firm.

Cotton has also worked on his family’s cattle farm in Dardanelle. He was first elected U.S. Senator in 2015 and his current term ends on January 3, 2021. From 2013-2015 he served as U.S. Rep. for the 4th District.

In 2014, Cotton was elected to the U.S. Senate beating incumbent Mark Pryor (D) and Nathan LaFrance (L).

Ricky Dale Harrington Jr

Ricky Harrington is a Texas native and has a bachelor’s degree from Harding University.

He’s worked in the oil and gas industry, food service, crisis prevention technician, correctional system, and as a missionary.

Areas he would like to see reform in include having a national standard for the release of public records, nonviolent crisis intervention training for all certified law enforcement, and have a civilian advisory board to help resolve citizen complaints against police, and decriminalize marijuana.

KNWA/FOX24 asked the candidates three generic questions

  • In Arkansas, what do you believe is a situation that needs to be dealt with in Arkansas, for example, airport, water system, environment, community safety?
  • What is the most important thing Arkansas should do to protect people during this COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Black Lives Matter, what does this US-based international movement mean in Arkansas, in your opinion?

RESPONSES

Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton: Arkansas has many important infrastructure priorities. Given the increased rate at which people work and study from home given the pressures of the pandemic, we should redouble our efforts to ensure access to broadband in our rural areas.

We have to strike the right balance between taking appropriate precautions regarding the virus and our healthcare system, while keeping our economy functioning and our schools open. On any given day, the situation in Arkansas will be different from that in other states, and the situation in one of our counties may well be different from the situation in another. We need flexibility and accountability across the state, sensitive to local conditions.

I’m critical of the Black Lives Matter organization, which stands for defunding the police and a radical agenda that is not right for Arkansas or our nation. The organization is regularly aligned on the streets of our nation’s major cities with Antifa and other radical left-wing groups engaged in rioting and destruction. I support Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill, to ensure that we have a good relationship between police departments and minority communities. But the criticism of our brave men and women in blue has gone too far. These officers defend our communities, and efforts to defund the police will harm minority communities the most.

Tom Cotton, U.S. Senate Candidate

Ricky Harrington, Jr.: Rural broadband internet is something I believe needs to be addressed, especially when we see rural children trying to do distance learning without it. To the companies, there is not as much money in building out this rural infrastructure, which is why it’s not already been done. Since it would be a public good, like rural electrification, I think it would appropriate to provide tax breaks to customers and further incentivize the building of high-speed broadband and 5G connectivity in rural Arkansas.

The greatest thing is to cut out the partisan rhetoric, and give the people the knowledge and tools to protect themselves, their communities, and their businesses. In that way, the government wouldn’t have to get involved, but it’s difficult or near impossible to accomplish that with the partisan rhetoric coming from Washington DC. especially on an issue that has affected us so deeply, and caused so much emotional and economic suffering.

Black Lives Matter is a way to draw attention to the history that America has in treating black Americans, especially when it comes to the sometimes-abusive powers the government has over their lives. Arkansas is not exempt from this history.  

Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr. U.S. Senate Candidate

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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