Hill takes on challenger Reynolds in primary

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U.S. Representative French Hill is looking to defeat primary challenger Conrad Reynolds as the two Republicans square off in the state’s redesigned 2nd congressional district this month.

Hill, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee and won by more than 10 points in the 2020 general election, is a four-term incumbent with a seven-figure war chest, according to the latest Election Commission filings. federal.

Hill, of Little Rock, said he was focused on issues families are talking about, such as inflation and an “open southwest border.”

“What I’ve heard over and over again is clearly the mismanagement of our country by the Biden administration,” he said.

Reynolds, of Conway, who describes himself as a conservative, is a veteran and works as a government consultant on intelligence matters. He argues that Hill’s voting record is out of step with the district. He is inclined to label the former banker with an acronym standing for “Republican In Name Only”.

“I love the Republican Party. But we need conservative Republicans, not just names. And that’s why I say I’m a RINO mover,” he said.

Hill says he worked as a “principled conservative” for decades. Hill served as a staffer in the United States Senate and worked as a senior official in the administration of former President George HW Bush.

“I’ve worked in conservative politics for conservative causes, mostly in the area of ​​economic policy, for 40 years,” Hill said.

This isn’t the first time Reynolds and Hill have faced off. The two were adversaries in the 2014 Republican primary. Hill routed Reynolds by more than 30 points in the three-way primary.

Reynolds also ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2010 Republican primary, securing 5% of the vote in an eight-man race and losing to Republican John Boozman.

COMBINATION ON NEW CARD

The district map has changed since the last time Reynolds and Hill faced off, with the new lines reflecting population changes revealed by the 2020 U.S. Census.

A lawsuit filed by six Pulaski County residents in early March accuses the state of watering down the black vote in Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district by placing parts of the state’s most populous county – Pulaski County – in three separate districts. Known as “cracking,” this tactic is used to disperse voters with similar interests among populations with whom they have little in common.

The previous 2nd District map included all of Pulaski County.

In court filings, state officials said the plaintiffs had lost a “political battle” and were unhappy with the outcome of the reshuffle. They argued that federal and state law offered them no way to turn their “political dissatisfaction — and preference for a more Democratic-friendly map — into a valid legal claim.”

Early voting in the competition began on Monday. The primary election is set for May 24.

Former President Donald Trump, whose power in the Republican Party is on display across the country this election cycle, did not support either candidate.

Reynolds, who has sought to tie himself to Trump’s political brand, visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, leaving with a photo, but without public endorsement.

Despite Trump’s silence, Reynolds maintains he has backers in Palm Beach, Florida, though he didn’t reveal any names.

“There are more people like me who don’t really care about Mr Hill, and some of them are at Mar-a-Lago. And I think they understand, we need a change” , said Reynolds.

Hill voted in line with Trump’s positions 94.1% of the time, according to a tally from FiveThirtyEight, a data-driven news and analysis website.

Hill said Tuesday he had not been in touch with Trump or his team recently about a possible endorsement.

“I think I’m campaigning in the district for re-election. I have tremendous support throughout the district,” Hill said, commenting that his poll indicates he’s doing “very well” and will win. the primary hands down.

Hill’s campaign committee brought in $261,375 from April 1 to May 4 and had total cash on hand of $1.58 million at the end of that period, according to campaign finance documents.

Reynolds’ campaign raised $29,724 during that time, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. His campaign had $5,265 as of May 4.

ELEMENTARY PROBLEMS

Both candidates highlighted inflation as a key issue.

“We have to control our budget. I think we have to control our spending. That’s why we have inflation at this point,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said he believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump and said there was fraud in the election.

While the former president has made similar allegations, dozens of judges have dismissed post-election litigation by Trump or his supporters, according to The Washington Post. The certified results of the elections and the Electoral College reflected a victory for Democrat Joe Biden, a reality recognized on January 6 and 7, 2021 by the United States Congress.

An Associated Press investigation of the 2020 election found fewer than 475 potential cases of voter fraud out of 25.5 million ballots cast for the president in six states that Trump had contested.

Reynolds also criticized Hill for voting in favor of establishing a commission into the deadly storming of the US Capitol last year.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters successfully delayed congressional efforts to tally electoral votes by hours, but lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence returned once order was restored. and completed the task.

The Jan. 6 committee’s legislation, which passed the House by a 252-175 vote, was supported by 35 House Republicans but was ultimately derailed by Republican opposition in the Senate.

Hill, who acknowledged Biden’s victory in the first electoral vote, said he believed it was important to find out why the US Capitol was unprotected and did not have adequate security on January 6, 2021.

A House select committee, which Hill criticized as tainted with partisanship, investigated the Jan. 6 riot.

ROE V. WADE

The abortion debate made national headlines this month after the release of a draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court signaling the possible end of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states.

The draft opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito and published by Politico, criticized the ruling that classified the right to abortion as constitutionally protected, calling it “demonstrably wrong from the start.”

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge promised that if the court formally overturns Roe v. Wade, she would certify a “trigger law” passed in 2019 that would immediately ban all abortions in the state except to save the life of the mother.

Hill says he supported the rape and incest exceptions for many years.

Reynolds said the only time abortion should be considered is in cases of rape, incest, and “mother’s life.”

The Arkansas Right to Life political action committee endorsed Hill, not Reynolds, said Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life.

Information for this article was provided by Dale Ellis of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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