Chairman Michael John Gray Welcomes The Crowded Presidential Field

Arkansans are going to have their plates full in the next election. There are more than 20 candidates running for President. That’s a lot of names, and a lot of positions and issues we’ll have to try and sort through.

It’ll be tough to do, but it’s important that we make the time to study the issues, to learn what each candidate is promising, and to question them, to see if they can really deliver.

The future of our country depends on it, and Arkansas can play a good role in this. Our primary election date has moved. In 2020, Arkansas’s primary will be in early March instead of late May. That means instead of being at the end of the process when most of the candidates have dropped out, we’ll be at the beginning when we’ll still have a choice of most of these 20-plus candidates. Our ballot is going to be full. It’ll be full of a lot of good choices.

We’re going to see a lot of familiar names like Joe Biden or Cory Booker and you’re going to see some new names like Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, or Kamala Harris. All these people, and all those that I didn’t mention,bring something to the table. I’m not asking you to take a look at them just because they’re Democrats. Pull the partisan labels off and see the solutions they’re offering, instead of just the same old political rhetoric.

When we’re voting we need to keep our priorities in mind, and see if the candidates match up. We need to find a real path to make sure people get paid what they deserve. We need to make sure that healthcare isn’t just accessible, but that it’s affordable. We also need to make sure that education must be affordable, and we must stop saddling our children with insurmountable student debt.

And for a state like Arkansas, we need to make sure we aren’t written off, we need to make sure that our state and our people get to be part of the economy of tomorrow, that we get to fully participate in and benefit from the strides our nation takes.

I’m excited about this Presidential field. I’m glad Arkansas will get to play a role in the process. I expect to see some of these 20-plus candidates campaigning in Arkansas, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say — and letting them know what Arkansas wants in a President.