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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Womack appointment seen as 2014 indicator

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM

U.S. REP. STEVE WOMACK image
  • STEVE WOMACK: Army vet now oversees defense spending.
Stephens Media reported yesterday that U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a military veteran himself, was appointed to the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees defense spending.

That's a big deal on its face — particularly if you like to rub elbows with defense industry lobbyists.

But it's a big deal in Arkansas, too. And not just because Womack is better situated now to lobby for keeping the fighter wing in place at Fort Smith.

Why? He's been angling for the slot for months and had called it a "coveted" position, though a longshot for him to grab.

But now, having won a "coveted" position in the House, you can now rule out Womack as a candidate for U.S. Senate against Mark Pryor in 2014.

Which brings us back to the Club for Growth's handpicked candidate, Tom Cotton. But what if Lt. Gov. Mark Darr decided to run for U.S. Senate, too? Would a Third District Republican who's been on the ground in Arkansas for years surprise Cotton, no matter how much outside money he has, given his recent return to the state to represent a district not known for nearly the same degree of Republican enthusiasm as the Third?

Speculate at will. But, please, don't encourage talk about Jason Rapert running for senate or lieutenant governor or anything else, except the state line.

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