Time Machine Resurfaces in Senate Race

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With the primary election only a week from Tuesday, voters are seeing an increase in campaign mail. Traditionally much of the mail around election time is critical.

The theory: Raising suspicions about your opponent helps you win, and this is the time when voters are paying attention.

Last weekend Republican voters living in state Senate District 7 received a campaign mailer from Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, taking his May 22 GOP primary election opponent to task over a couple of issues. Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, is running against Pritchard in the district encompassing Springdale, Johnson and parts of eastern Washington County.

The winner faces Democrat Diana Gonzales Worthen in the Nov. 6 general election.

In the mail piece, Pritchard asserts that Woods “wants to spend your tax dollars to build a time machine.” It cites an email from Woods in January to Richard Hudson, University of Arkansas vice chancellor for government and community relations, stating, “If I’m elected to the state Senate I would like to do an appropriation bill to the U of A for the amount of $250K to build this machine.”

In January, Woods asked the university to fly Ronald Mallett, a University of Connecticut physics professor, to town for a seminar. Mallet is author of the book “Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality.”

Mallett, who  has appeared on CNN and other national programs, came to the campus and gave a presentation to the physics department.

Meanwhile, Woods has used social media sites and billboards to criticize Pritchard for his tax votes at the Legislature.

With election day fast approaching, both candidates are expected to spend heavily on campaign advertising during the next 10 days. The latest campaign finance report shows Pritchard had $77,603 in the bank at the end of March. Woods had $41,122.

Each candidate has spent his own money on the election. Pritchard has lent his campaign $15,000, while Woods has put $20,000 of his money into the race.