Let’s Talk Politics

Carly Lidzy, Writer

In the House of Representatives District Two election held Nov. 6, some students worked within their party for the candidate they wanted to win. In the end, Republican incumbent French Hill pulled ahead with 51.2% and Democrat Clarke Tucker came in second with 45.8%. Libertarian candidate Joe Swafford ended with only 2% of votes.

53.2 percent of surveyed students wanted Hill to win the election, while 36 percent wanted Tucker to win. 10 percent of students preferred to vote Libertarian or had a different opinion on who should win.

Very few students have participated in political campaigns, but the select few who have are passionate participants.

The Republican headquarters opens its door on weekends to students who want to help. Sophomore Kamryn Ray, president of Young Republicans, volunteered to help the party.

“I’ve done a lot of of campaigning for French Hill,” Ray said. “I’ve gone door to door handing out information cards and made over 300 phone calls for him.”
Ray was also able to meet candidate French Hill while volunteering.

“I was making phone calls for [French Hill] at the Saline County Republican Headquarters in downtown Benton when he came to visit,” Ray said. “He was very nice and told me and another intern about some of what he was doing.”

Senior Chloe McGehee, president of Young Democrats, worked for the Clarke Tucker campaign.

“I mostly have experience with phone banking,” McGehee said. “We’ve also canvassed, which is where we just go around talking to people about the campaign and handing out flyers.”

These students hold strong opinions about Arkansas politics. For some, like Ray, it is a matter of personal matters staying personal.

“[French Hill] is trying to push for lower taxes and a smaller government involvement, which I support, because I don’t want government involvement in anyone’s personal matters,” Ray said.

While Ray is a strong supporter for French Hill, McGehee is not.

“I strongly disagree with French Hill’s policies and some of the things he’s done,” McGehee said. “I also think that it is time for a change in our system, because we’ve become kind of stagnant and one noted.”

For McGehee, it is a battle for the classes.

“I think most politicians are either aligned with lower class or upper class,” McGehee said. “Tucker seems to care about the working class. Since that’s my family, I’ve seen how it benefits us.”

Regardless of the differences between political views in the school, Ray believes it is not something that divides students.

“Politics don’t define our lives,” Ray said. “One of my close friends is a Young Democrat, but I don’t dislike her because of it. The issue of politics in friendships only becomes an issue when they try to force their views on you. It’s more a matter of respect than a matter of politics.”