Marion Berry announced his retirement from U.S. Congress District 1 in Arkansas on 25 Jan 2010. As of this writing, five men on the Democratic ticket have decided to take the challenge to replace Berry. There are Republicans running as well but this focus is on Democrats in an attempt to keep it more concise. It is my hope to write an article about Republicans who have entered the race soon.
Chad Causey, 33, of Jonesboro was the former Chief of Staff to Marion Berry. Chad says he is running because he believes our country is at a crossroads and does not need more partisan bickering. Causey has been associated with Marion Berry for nearly ten years. His focus is on agriculture, and senior care. Causey also supports a blended health care bill that will improve coverage, eliminate preexistent conditions, decrease drug costs, and invest in technology.
Steve Bryles has announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress District 1 in Arkansas as well. Bryles was elected as state senator for Arkansas District 15 in 2000 covering Poinsett and Mississippi Counties. Bryles says he realizes we want a congressman who understands small business owners, farmers, and everyday people. Bryles says his focus will be on creating jobs, improving education, eliminating partisan bickering, and affordable health care-not government mandates.
Tim Wooldridge, of Paraould, is running for U.S. Congress District 1 in Arkansas as well. Wooldridge is a former Arkansas state senator and representative in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He has been executive director of the Arkansas Association of Public Universities since August 2007. Prior to this appointment, he was the vice president for Institutional Advancement/Legislative Affairs at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Foundation in Paragould.
Ben Ponder, 34, from Mountain Home, Arkansas is running for U.S. Congress District 1 in Arkansas. Ponder is both an educator and executive who is highly educated with a doctorate in communication studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Ponder says he returned to Arkansas to help the state to flourish. Ponder has experience as a former executive in a pharmacy company and claims this has prepared him for new solutions to a health care overhaul.
David Cook from Williford, Arkansas is the final Democratic candidate running for U.S. Congress District 1 in Arkansas (as of this writing). Cook is a Vietnam veteran who has lived in seven of the twenty-six counties located in District 1. Cook is a former school administrator and spent many years as the superintendent of the Hoxie school district. Cook was also director of the Northeast Arkansas Educational Committee. Cook knows from first-hand experience that hope comes with an education. Cook, who has been in the Arkansas District 80 senate seat for several years, has moderate views. He would like to strengthen the economy, strengthen national security, and most importantly create jobs. Cook believes health care and education should be available for everyone.