A 4th Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A 4th Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 11:37 AM

click to enlarge JONATHAN DUNKLEY: Plans 2nd District race.
  • JONATHAN DUNKLEY: Plans 2nd District race.
A fourth candidate is preparing to enter the Democratic primary race for 2nd District Congress, now held by Republican Rep. French Hill.

He's Jonathan Dunkley, a project manager at the Clinton School of Public Service. Dunkley is a graduate of the Clinton School and Philander Smith College.  His Facebook page describes him as a liberal politically and includes this statement:

"A few months ago I was having a conversation with my daughter. She and I were talking about what I do and where I work, she was feeling a little anxious about the world. She knows I have done a lot - with foster kids teaching them how to be prepared for the world when the reach the age of 21 and don’t have a safety net any more, working with college kids from the US in Belize doing projects that help make the world a better place, and right here in Little Rock as a mentor to young men who need a role model. What she was anxious about is our political leadership. “Daddy, what are you doing about Donald Trump? You aren’t doing enough!”

I am not doing enough - until now.

We don’t have to depend on a representative going to Washington who only represents the few. I want to make sure that all of the people of the 2nd CD can have real representation. So I am answering my daughters question and running for Congress.

We need an economy that works for everyone, right now we have an economy that works for a few. By granting huge tax cuts to corporations we are robbing our public schools and roads. I don’t want to live in a world where our kids have to have bake sales to buy books or a world where we have to pay for the bus to pick our kids up and take them to school.

We need a health care system that is about the consumers - a horrible way to talk about people, by the way. I want to push for a system that puts people first, not one that is based on the profits margins for the health care industry or fat cat CEO’s.

These are just two issues that I believe are getting a poor representation in Washington. My job will be to make sure you are being heard, that your anxiety is being recognized and that our children will not have to pick up the pieces of what could be a failed experiment.

Please join my campaign - our campaign for a better Arkansas and a better country."
An item on the Daily Kos blog yesterday about Dunkley noted Arkansas has never elected an African-American to Congress. Democrats did nominate an African-American, Joyce Elliott, for the 2nd District in 2010 in a hotly contested primary, but she was defeated by Republican Tim Griffin. French Hill defeated a lightly funded African-American, Dianne Curry, in 2016, though she carried Pulaski County. The Daily Kos item mentioned a couple of other topics of interest to Dunkley, including debt-free college or trade school for students and his belief that "para-military weapons don’t belong in the hands of the public — they belong with trained professionals, our military and our public safety officers. "

Paul Spencer, Gwen Combs and state Rep. Clarke Tucker previously announced for the race. Filing begins Thursday.

A four-way race would seem to raise still further chances of a runoff for the Democratic nomination.

Spencer welcomed Dunkley to the race:

“Clearly the people are hungry for change, and are looking to elect a representative who fights for them, and not the wealthy donors. Issues such as debt-free higher education, Medicare For All, a $15/hour minimum wage, campaign finance reform, automatic voter registration, and other bold demands must come to the forefront in this campaign, and we as candidates must provide a convincing, positive vision for the future.

"I am thrilled to welcome Mr. Dunkley into this race, and I believe with this field of candidates, the people of the Second Congressional District can expect an even more vigorous debate on the policies that matter most to regular Arkansans.”

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