A photograph that recently went viral showing Gov. Mike Beebe posing with Northwest Arkansas GOP legislative candidates doesn’t mean the Democratic governor is supporting those Republicans in the November general election, says Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample.
In the photo, taken last month at Neal’s Cafe in Springdale, Beebe is shown standing between Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, and Micah Neal, the restaurant’s owner. Also in the photo is Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who is standing next to Neal.
The picture ended up being tweeted (though not by the governor) and created some off-the-record grumbling among area Democrats.
In the Nov. 6 election, Woods is running for the Senate District 7 seat against Democrat Diana Gonzales Worthen of Springdale. Neal is facing Yessie Hernandez, also a Springdale Democrat, in the House District 89 race.
DeCample said the governor sometimes stops by Neal’s Cafe when he’s in Northwest Arkansas and happened to run into Neal, Woods and Darr recently.
On any given day, it is not uncommon to spot public officials from both parties eating at Neal’s.
DeCample said the governor posed in the picture to be polite, not to lend campaign support to Woods and Neal. Beebe is backing Gonzales Worthen and Hernandez in their campaigns, DeCample said.
“Just because it’s an election season doesn’t mean he’s not going to be civil and cordial,” DeCample said.