Today, Jonesboro Senate District 21 candidate John Cooper announced he had received the endorsement of seven sitting legislators. In my estimation, these lawmakers are some of the most conservative, most respected members of the legislature — and every single one of them voted against the “private option” version of Obamacare expansion.
Here are what the legislators had to say about Cooper, per Cooper’s press release:
State Senator Bryan King, District 5: “John has demonstrated a commitment to conservative values. On issues like Obamacare, tax reform, and reducing the state budget, John doesn’t have to think about where he stands. He is grounded and principled. Someone I look forward to serving with in the Senate.”
State Senator Gary Stubblefield, District 6: “It’s not every day that you come across a candidate as well versed on the issues as John Cooper. John’s knowledge will make him a valuable asset in the Senate on day one.”
State Representative Terry Rice, District 21: “John is a good conservative who knows where he stands on the issues. His vote will help us reform state government.”
State Representative Joe Farrer, District 44: “The more conservatives we have in the legislature, the more successful we will be at stopping government growth. I support John because I know he is a true conservative.”
State Representative John Payton, District 64: “John is a solid individual. I believe he will do what is right rather than what is convenient. His vote in the legislature will be important to conservatives across the state.”
State Representative Josh Miller, District 66: “I’ve known John Cooper for a while now. He has always been supportive and encouraging to conservative candidates. With John, this is not about ego, it’s about doing what’s right. Even when he disagrees, he finds a way to explain his position without anger. We need more like him to serve the state.”
State Representative Justin Harris, District 81: “Having John Cooper in the Senate will be very helpful for those concerned about the future of our healthcare system. John will bring conservative solutions to the table that will not include mandates and higher taxes.”
In a statement to The Arkansas Project, Cooper said he’s honored to have the support of these conservative legislators:
It’s just very humbling to me to know that they would do that for me and that they feel that this is important enough to do that.
I think those legislators are known as conservative legislators overall and that’s the kind of legislators that I want to be close to. That’s the kind that it’s important to me to get their support in this election because I feel like conservative legislators have a good grip on the candidates out here. I think those legislators know a little bit about my background and what I stand for.”
Cooper added that he thinks the fact that all of these legislators opposed the ‘private option’ lends credibility to his campaign’s position on Obamacare:
I think that is just one more indicator of several that those legislators think conservatively. The fact that Chad Niell has come around finally to say he’s opposed to it really doesn’t give me much confidence in him because I think he put his political finger in the air and checked the political winds and decided that’s what he had to do. There’s an old saying: ‘A man converted against his will is of the same opinion still.’ And I have my doubts that he’s really committed to it.”
Niell is one of Cooper’s opponents in the Republican primary. He was recently
endorsed “supported” in a mailer by Craighead County Democrat Sheriff Marty Boyd. (The mailer contains extensive praise from Sheriff Boyd of candidate Niell, followed by a sentence in microscopic type that explains that it is not an endorsement.)
Early voting is underway now. The election day for the primary is Tuesday.