Jim Holt, the Springdale business owner who’s run for Lt. Governor and U.S. Senate, is back at it again, among a big field of Republican’s seeking the GOP’s nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Blanche Lincoln.
Holt, a former state Senator, was in Sherwood on Sunday at a meet-and-greet hosted by Darrell Brown, a long-time Republican Party supporter, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, a volunteer on the Mike Huckabee presidential campaign and, of course, a friend of mine going all the way back to high school.
So of course Darrell invited me to come out meet Holt for the first time, which I gladly did, having met none of the Republican candidates.
I watched Holt talk for more than a hour to about 30 current and prospective supporters, some who drove all the way from Heber Springs to meet him. It was a group eager for change, most decidedly not the type President Barack Obama promised in 2008. It was a group that believes government has gotten too big, taxes too much, operates in myriad unconstitutional ways and is trending ever-so-quickly to socialism.
Holt agrees and wants to stop it. He wants smaller government and fewer taxes. He fears Americans have forgotten their heritage, and are thus “easily persuaded” to fall into any number of nefarious Marxist traps. He’s perhaps the most conservative, to-the-right — yes, “extreme” — candidate seeking the nomination, an assessment he won’t argue with. He loves the Tea Party movement and is inspired by its voice in American politics.
Personally, he’s a nice guy, eager to talk about kids and sports. He’s a long-talker, speaking a full hour Sunday before taking questions. His sentences can get lengthly, and when he gets going, he often abandons one right in the middle, jumping abruptly to the next thought. He’s prone to off-the-cuff remarks. He’s aware that these sometimes get him in trouble.
But he’s also unique in the giant field of Republican candidates in that he’s the only one who’s faced Lincoln before. As the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in 2004, he ran unsuccessfully against the Democrat. But despite a meager campaign budget, won 44 percent of the vote.
At least one poll showed Holt retaining a strong position in the hunt for that Senate seat. But that was before 3rd District U.S Rep. John Boozman got in the race, a move that will make it harder for Holt to raise money and keep voters attention. Should Boozman’s move out of the 3rd be a good opportunity for Holt, who could instead throw in for that seat in a more conversation part of the state? It might be. But he’ll hear none of it. He’s in it for the Senate.
After the meet-and-greet, I got a few minutes with Holt, who stayed well past the end of the event despite facing a long drive back to Springdale. In the video above, he talks about how he plans to stand out among other Republican candidates for Senate. After the jump, two more segments on his relationship with the Republican Party and his views on legislative compromise.
Filed under: Photos, Politics, Video | Tagged: Barack Obama, Bill Halter, Blanche Lincoln, Jim Holt, John Boozman, Mike Huckabee, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party, Tim Hutchinson, U.S. Senate, Video |