BLOG: Conservative Arkansas Endorses Five Northwest Arkansas Republicans

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The following Republicans in Northwest Arkansas, each facing a GOP opponent in the May 22 primary election, have received an endorsement from political action committee Conservative Arkansas.

Bart Hester in Senate District 1. Hester faces Rep. Tim Summers, R-Bentonville.

Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, in Senate District 7. Woods faces Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins.

Charlene Fite in House District 80. Fite faces Terry Bibbs.

Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, in House District 81. Harris faces Lisa France Norris.

Jeremy Miller  in House District 97. Miller faces Bob Ballinger.

Conservative Arkansas has worked to end a practice that allows legislators to be reimbursed for constituent services without providing receipts. The PAC’s endorsements were based partly on whether a candidate signed a pledge not to accept reimbursements without receipts. The endorsements also were based on interviews with the board and an issues questionnaire, said Patsy Wootton, executive director.

Immigration and the Second Amendment were among key issues the board used in making endorsement decisions.

For instance, Pritchard was denied an endorsement in part because he does not support allowing law-abiding Arkansans to carry a handgun openly, as in a holster, said a Conservative Arkansas member involved in the endorsement process. Pritchard said at a debate last week in Springdale he doesn’t want handguns carried openly in places such as malls where children might be present. His opponent, Woods, said he supports allowing law-abiding handgun owners to carry weapons openly.

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