Eeeeeeeeee! After months of annoying vacillation, Arkansas Sen. Gilbert Baker has pulled the trigger, announcing today that he is, indeed, jumping into the increasingly crowded Republican primary for U.S. Senate to earn a shot at challenging embattled Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln. (Politico lists Lincoln on their “August Recess Casualty List.” Ouch.)
Full statement from Baker at jump.
Your move, Tom Cotton….
The Politics in Arkansas blog rounds up the responses from the D.C. flacks at the national party committees, so I don’t have to.
Gilbert Baker to Run for U.S. Senate
Says Need for Checks and Balances in Washington Trumps Being a Political Spectator
Conway – State Senator Gilbert Baker (bio attached) announced today that he will be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2010.
“After encouragement from people all across the state, and with the support of my family and close friends, I have decided that during this important time in our nation’s history, one should not be a political spectator.” Baker continued, “I believe that Arkansas’ next United States Senator should help provide checks and balances on the policies being pushed by President Obama and the D.C. leadership.”
Baker will spend the month of September travelling the state raising money, speaking to groups, visiting with grassroots supporters, and developing a campaign infrastructure.
“We have set modest fundraising and organizational goals as we begin this process,” commented Baker.
“However, let me be clear, I believe any viable challenger to Senator Lincoln must possess the ability to raise a significant amount of money in order to get his or her message out to the people of Arkansas.” Baker closed, “I look forward to a spirited primary campaign and a vigorous debate about the many issues facing Arkansas.”
A formal campaign kick-off will be planned for October.