In what is expected to be an announcement that he is running for the U.S. Senate, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has scheduled a public event next week in Dardanelle with political supporters and hometown residents.
A source close to Cotton says there is a “strong possibility” that the meeting next week in his hometown will be a kickoff rally for his U.S. Senate campaign. Cotton, a first-term congressman, is a Harvard graduate and Army veteran who served in Iraq.
The event is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the Dardanelle Community Center.
Republicans hold 46 of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate and are targeting the Arkansas seat held by Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor for takeover in an effort to win control of that chamber. Pryor is seeking re-election to the Senate in 2014. Arkansas’ other Senate seat is held by Republican John Boozman of Rogers.
Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Pryor issued a statement Wednesday “about Tom Cotton’s anticipated run for the U.S. Senate after just 209 days in Congress.”
“In seven short months, Tom Cotton’s reckless and irresponsible voting record has alienated Arkansas farmers, seniors, students, women, parents and the business community by voting against such measures as the Farm Bill, Student loans, the Violence Against Women Act, and trying to cut Social Security and Medicare,” according to the statement from Pryor’s campaign. “Instead of putting Arkansas first, he has put his own political career ahead of the people of Arkansas and sided with Washington insiders and special interests. When the people of our state review Tom Cotton’s record, they won’t like what they see.”
If Cotton runs for the Senate as anticipated, those expected to run for his 4th Congressional District seat in south Arkansas include Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, a Republican, and state Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.
Darr, who previously told 5NEWS he is “seriously considering” moving from Springdale to the 4th District to run for that seat, said on Wednesday he’ll announce his intentions in two to three weeks.
He said he did not want to declare his intentions until Cotton has made an announcement.
“Out of respect to other people, I don’t want to get in the way of their announcement,” he said.
If Darr seeks the congressional seat, state Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, is among those expected to run for lieutenant governor.