A representative from Prosecutor Scott Ellington's office spoke about his District 1 bid for U.S. House of Representatives.
"We are not about Republicans or Democrats. We have to end this dead lock. We have got to protect our seniors' Social Security and Medicare." Ellington's office said politicians need to compromise and work with each other.
For the District 19 State Senate Seat, Linda Collins-Smith, a native of Sharp County said, "This is a place where right is right and wrong is wrong, and you can sleep well at night." Collins-Smith stated she is a business owner who concentrates on job creation. Collins-Smith said she is a Christian before a politician, and she believes residents in her district do not like Washington politics in Arkansas. She promised to work for the people in the district where she lives and operates her business.
Senator David Wyatt is also running for the District 19 Senate Seat. Wyatt served 20 years as the Independence County Judge. He said, as a farmer, his primary goal is to serve the needs of the agriculture industry in his district, and meet the needs of his constituents. Married for 42 years, Wyatt said he will have an opportunity to serve on the Agriculture committee to further assist residents in his district.
Running for District 60 State House Seat is Republican Ronald Cavenaugh. His district covers Lawrence, Green, Randolph and part of Sharp County. Cavenaugh, a resident of Walnut Ridge, said one of his major concerns is the high cost of fuel and energy. "We have got to be energy efficient and self-sufficient," he said. As a business owner since 1975, Cavenaugh is also concerned with the state's infrastructure, which he called the backbone of the state's economy. Cavenaugh is concerned about the lowered weight limits on the Black River bridge, and wants the problem solved.
Also running for the State District 60 House of Representative seat is James Ratliff.
Ratliff also discussed the high cost of fuel. As an owner of a Martin Creek century old farm, Ratliff said he has the interest of rural America in mind. Ratliff served as an agriculture teacher for 28 years and said the interest of farmers in his district is very important.
Roger Delffs, who is running for the State House of Representative District 62 seat, which includes Izard, Stone, Independence and part of Sharp County, said he was both a Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran who, although not a native of the area, "chose to live in Evening Shade because I love the area." Delffs said his area of expertise is in healthcare. With a master's degree in hospital administrations, Delffs said he "knows healthcare inside and out, and Obamacare is a disaster." He went on to say, "We must act now or this will be forced down our throats." He spoke of tort reform and told constituents he has signed a pro life pledge. "I believe it is time conservatives have a chance to run Arkansas."
District 62 State Representative Tommy Wren, who is seeking re-election, explained his deep roots in Izard County, where his family has lived for 200 years. As a farmer, Wren said he "represents the people, not a party. That is our job." He explained that, as a state representative, it is important to consider state issues, and leave the federal issues to those elected to address them.
"What I can do is pass policy and law in the state of Arkansas, I can't fix federal issues. I am here to represent the people of Arkansas and District 62, and that's what I will do. I look them in the face and tell them the truth." Wren said. He also touted the Arkansas education system and ended by stating, "I am going to do what you tell me to do. You won't catch me signing pledges for anything. It don't matter if it's a Republican or Democratic idea, I am going to do what you tell me to."
Everett McGuire, who is running for Sharp County and Circuit Clerk, said he was running because, after attending a Patriots meeting, he could not understand why no one would run against Democrats in Sharp County. He explained most, like his opponent, long time clerk Tommy Estes, run unopposed and stay in office. Retired from the military, McGuire said "Just get out and vote. That is the reason I served this country in the military."
Tommy Estes, who is seeking re-election as Sharp County and Circuit Clerk, explained he lives in Ash Flat on a 365 acre century farm, and has very deep roots in the county. Estes discussed what he said are sometimes irrational fears of voter fraud and how his office is working to address those through technology.
Estes said through voter pads, IPads equipped with all registered voters' vital information, his office would not have to print, bind and distribute poll books.
Estes thanked the community for allowing him to remain in office for 32 years and said, " I am fortunate to do what I do, and I love what I do. I would appreciate your votes."
The last candidate to speak was Sharp County Judge Larry Brown, who is seeking re-election. His opponent Phillip Hood was not present for the forum.
Brown explained he has served as judge through six Federal disasters, and considers himself a "facilitator, not a boss." Before being elected as County Judge, Brown served eight years on the Quorum Court, and as superintendent at Cave City Schools.
Brown said he and the Quorum Court work together to solve problems.
Brown listed accomplishments, including consolidating the Office of Emergency Management with the Road Department, receiving over $3 million in equipment purchased for the county, and $3 million FEMA distributions during his tenure as judge.
"Let's work together to make things work." Brown said.
Due to the Randolph County Fair being held during the forum, some candidates, whose districts are included in that county, were not able to attend.