State Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, was named the 2013 Conservative of the Year on Saturday (Jan. 18) by Conservative Arkansas, a political action committee based in Springdale.
Collins, a candidate for lieutenant governor, received the award at the SpringCreek Fellowship church in Springdale during the PAC’s annual administrative meeting.
About 150 people, including candidates for local and statewide offices, attended the potluck chili supper. State Rep. Andy Mayberry of Hensley, the only other announced Republican running for lieutenant governor in the May 20 primary election, also attended the event.
The Conservative of the Year award was announced by Jana Della Rosa, a state House candidate and daughter of Patsy Wootton, executive director of Conservative Arkansas. Della Rosa praised Collins’ successful efforts at the 2013 General Assembly to reduce the state income tax and to allow university and colleges to decide whether faculty and staff with concealed carry permits can bring handguns onto campus.
“As gun-control advocates nationwide continually called for stricter regulations in the wake of tragic campus shootings, he set a precedent that moves Arkansas in the opposite direction with the passage of a campus carry bill that ensures college campuses have the opportunity to arm their faculty and defend our children,” Della Rosa said.
Della Rosa called Collins the “sole conservative legislator hailing from the more liberal armpit of Northwest Arkansas” — meaning the college town of Fayetteville.
“He is a good Christian man who has shown an unwavering commitment to the betterment of Arkansas through the implementation of conservative principles,” she said.