D.C.-based PAC backs 6 in GOP

GOPAC eyes Republican wins in 6 races, Legislative campaigns get $2,000 each

LITTLE ROCK — A conservative political action committee endorsed six Arkansas Republican legislative candidates Wednesday, with the president of the group calling the races a unique opportunity for Republicans.

David Avella, president of Washington, D.C.-based GOPAC, announced the support at Republican Party of Arkansas headquarters in Little Rock and gave each candidate a $2,000 contribution.

Party control of the Arkansas House and Senate could change in the Nov. 6 election for the first time in 138 years.

The Senate candidates are Rep. Linda Collins-Smith of Pocahantas, who is challenging Sen. David Wyatt, DBatesville, for District 19; Rep. Jane English of Sherwood, who faces Rep. Barry Hyde, D-North Little Rock, for Senate District 34; and Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow, who is being challenged by Rep. Linda Tyler, D-Conway, for District 35.

House candidates are Rep. Allen Kerr of Little Rock, who is challenged by Democrat Barbara Graves of Little Rock in Senate District 32; Mary Bentley of Perryville, who istrying for the District 73 seat against Rep. John Catlett, DRover; and Bill Gossage of Ozark, who faces Rep. Leslee Milam Post of Ozark for District 82.

Democratic Party spokesman Candace Martin questioned why an out-of-state group was taking an interest in the Arkansas election.

“Some politicians want to make this election about what outside special interests want for Arkansas and what’s in their best interests as outof-state interest groups,” Martin said. “Voters will have a choice between that and leaders who will continue to work with Gov. [Mike] Beebe and his agenda to create jobs, cut taxes, and balance our state budget.”

Avella said outside groups want to support candidates they believe will be good representatives.