The Warren Stephens Effect: Does His Involvement in the 2nd District Congressional Campaign Matter?

Warren Stephens

Warren Stephens, Tim Griffin's money man

Jan Cottingham of Arkansas Business asks local political experts whether it matters that Little Rock financier Warren Stephens has signed on as Tim Griffin’s finance director in Griffin’s campaign for the 2nd District Congressional seat.

Griffin announced Stephens’ role in his campaign for the Republican nomination on Friday, after incumbent Vic Snyder, a Democrat, announced he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Does Warren Stephens’ clout matter in this race, which has two other GOP candidates and now a void on the Democrat side? In short, yes. But the inevitable Democratic candidate will also enjoy strong backing from the business community.

“It’s big,” Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, said of Stephens’ involvement in Griffin’s campaign. “It indicates that Tim Griffin’s candidacy is very serious, and it indicates strong support from the business community.”

Rex Nelson, long active in GOP politics and now a principal in The Communications Group of Little Rock, said, “I can’t think of anybody on the Democratic side with equal financial clout in Arkansas.”

Both men said, however, that whoever was chosen as the Republican and Democratic nominees would have plenty of financial support, from their parties and from area business people.

The hows and whys available here, including comments from Think Tank blogger Blake Rutherford.

More

Over the weekend, Arkansas House Speaker Robbie Wills indicates he might be interested in a run from the Democratic side, and Snyder’s wife comments on her husband’s decision [Arkansas Times]

Blake Rutherford says Democrats have a “deep bench” of possible candidates to step into the breach [Blake Rutherford]

Jason Tolbert on Democrat “spin” on Snyder’s retirement [The Tolbert Report]

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