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Fred Smith Elected to Arkansas State House on Green Party Ticket

Last night Fred Smith became the fourth Green Party candidate to get elected to a state legislative seat in the US, and the second one in Arkansas.

State House – District 50 – General
35 of 35 Precincts Reporting – 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Smith, Fred Grn 2,905 100%
Hallum, Hudson Dem 0 0%

How did this happen? Just hours before polls closed in Arkansas a judge ordered that votes for Democrat Hudson Hallum NOT BE COUNTED. Hallum was convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud, was forced to resign from the House and is ineligible to serve, but it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.

Ironically, Hallum held the seat that Fred Smith held two years ago, as a Democrat. Smith had resigned from office when charged with theft, but was later exonerated of that charge. Smith wanted his seat back but the Democrat slot on the ballot was taken so he approached the Green Party.

Further irony – the last Green Party candidate to get elected to a state legislative seat also won unopposed. In 2008, Richard Carroll wound up being the only name on the ballot when the Democrats removed their candidate after he had been charged with inappropriate sexual contact. Carroll served as a Green in office for a year before switching parties to the Democrats, but the Dems ran someone against Carroll in his own primary and defeated him in 2010.

Let’s hope Fred Smith stays a Green, and stays in the Arkansas State House!

Background stories:

Also see from Green Party Watch

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Green Party of Arkansas Fields Slate of 14 for November Election

Besides Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala, Arkansas voters will see Greens on the ballot for all four seats in the House of Representatives, plus two state legislative seats and 8 more local races.

Arkansas is predicting a Republican sweep of the four Congressional races. The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have candidates in all four races.

Rebekah Kennedy is a Fort Worth attorney, who in 2008 got over 200,000 votes running for US Senate for 20.56% of the vote in a head to head match up with Democrat Mark Prior. She also ran for Attorney General in 2006 and 2010, pulling in 33,338 votes in 06 (4.4%) and 193,658 votes in 2010 (26.7%). This year running for the House of Representatives in CD-3, she faces incumbent Republican Steve Womack, and Libertarian candidate David Pangrac after the Democrat dropped out of the race. Polling in this race is interesting: Womack (R) 58%; Kennedy (G) 15.5%; Pangrac (L) 6%; Undecided 20.5%.

Josh Drake is running in his third attempt for the House of Representatives 4th CD. Drake is a Hot Springs attorney, who pulled in 4,129 votes in 2010 (2.32%) and 32,603 votes in 2008 (13.8%). Polling for this race indicates a tough race, With Republican Tom Cotton polling 51%, Democrat Gene Jeffress at 22%, Josh Drake at 4% and Libertarian Bobby Tullis at 3%. Undecided voters are at 20%.

In the first Congressional District, student Jacob Holloway appears to be losing traction (his website is broken and his original facebook page is down).  Polling has Holloway at 1%, versus 53% for the Republican, 28% for the Democrat, and 2% for the Libertarian candidate Jessica Paxton.

In the second Congressional District, Barbara Ward, who works at the Arkansas Historical Museum, is polling at 4% in her first campaign. Republican Tim Griffin is at 49%, Democrat Herb Rules is at 28.5%, with Libertarian Chris Hayes at 3%.

The Green Party has two candidates running for State Legislative races in Arkansas. In District 50, former Globetrotter Fred Smith, who was formerly elected to the seat as a Democrat, is running against Democrat Hudson Hallum, who was elected to replace Smith in a special election after Smith resigned in 2010. Details of why Fred Smith resigned, and why he is running now as a Green, can be read here. In the other race, in District 45 the Green Party is running Travis Mason against Republican incumbent Jeremy Gillam. There are no other candidates in the race.

Other candidates running for local races on the Green Party ticket in Arkansas:

  • Alvin L. Clay- Mississippi County, J.P. District 6
  • Kade Holliday- Craighead County Clerk
  • Roger Watkins- Craighead County Constable District 5
  • David Bogan- Craighead County Constable District 1
  • Kari Barber-Bars- Garland County Assessor
  • Mark J. Golen- Faulkner County, California Township Constable
  • Dalton Elliott- Faulkner County, Pine Mountain Constable
  • Michael Yoder- Faulkner County Justice of the Peace District 8

Rebekah Kennedy:

Josh Davis:

(Videos found at Independentarkansas.com)

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Former Globetrotter on Green Ballot in Arkansas

The Washington Post has this piece about former Harlem Globetrotter Fred Smith, who was denied access to the Democratic Party’s ballot line and instead sought the Green Party’s line. Smith was elected to the Arkansas State House in 2010 as a Democrat, but resigned due to charges of accidental felony theft.

The last Green to get elected to a State Legislative seat was in Arkansas in 2008 when Richard Carroll wound up as the Green Party candidate running unopposed after the Democrat was removed from the ballot. Carroll later switched parties in 2009 to the Democrats and was eliminated in the Democratic Primary in 2010.

The Washington Post on Fred Smith:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Green Party of Arkansas nominated a former Harlem Globetrotter for a state House seat this weekend — a month after a judge said he wasn’t eligible to run for the Democrats.

Fred Smith said Monday that the Green Party picked him as its candidate for the House District 50 seat.

“Since I got into it and I’ve been cleared, what’s wrong with getting a second chance?” Smith asked.
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