Thompson: Take A Look At This Hendren Fellow (Updated!)

Sen. Kim Hendren Morning News of Northwest Arkansas columnist Doug Thompson takes the measure of Sen. Kim Hendren, the Benton County Republican who’s been rumored as a challenger to Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010. Thompson predicts Hendren will jump into the race:

His chances? Don’t ask me. I’m too biased. A Kim Hendren U.S. Senate race would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I’d definitely have plenty to write about in 2010.

Hendren’s absolutely tireless, especially when campaigning. He’s 71. I’m 49. I wish I had his energy. However, his campaigns—including a statewide campaign for governor—rely a lot on shoe leather and tire rubber. I don’t know if you can win a statewide race against an incumbent with those anymore.

He has money. In fact, I don’t know what he’d spend his money on if he doesn’t campaign. Here’s a self-made man who seriously injured himself a few years ago when he fell from the ceiling while trying to fix something at one of his businesses rather than hire somebody to do it.

While we’re trading in speculation and rumors, I’m told that Hendren has a cool million set aside and at the ready to kick off his campaign, should he decide to jump in.

Thompson’s full column here.

And if you’re interested in broader trends in Senate fundraising for 2010? Check out this Reuters piece, which notes that there’s no recession when it comes to campaign cash. Includes mention of Lincoln and notes that Democrats nationwide are currently leading in the money race.

UPDATE: Had a voicemail this morning saying that Hendren would announce his run via press release TODAY, and lo and behold, Max Brantley’s got the goods.

UPDATE 2: Here’s more from the AP’s Jon Gambrell. Also, a Twittering David Sanders declares that state Sen. Gilbert Baker will NOT pursue a rumored challenge to Lincoln—and then promptly revises his statement to indicate that Baker has said no such thing. Stupid Twitter.

And speaking of Sanders, his column from last Wednesday’s looking more prescient every minute, isn’t it?

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7 thoughts on “Thompson: Take A Look At This Hendren Fellow (Updated!)

  • Surprising that Sen. Hendren announced so soon, but with so many names appearing in the “interested” column, I do not blame him. Comments at Ark.Times indicate that other R’s “will drop out.” Maybe. Maybe not. Looks like there will be a primary. And the guy/gal with “Senator” before his or her name stands a better chance than others.

    Don’t give the R nomination to Hendren just yet. He is right on a number of issues, but not all of them. More important for Hendren is that he is tireless; and partially self-funding; and well versed in the politics of a state-wide race. It remains to be seen if that is enough to ward off all other R’s.

    What is funny is seeing Lincoln run scared. Nationally R’s need to give Lincoln a race, to soak up some of the money that D’s plan on spending to protect their socialist-lite agenda.

    Good luck to Kim; but don’t count me as a sure Kim voter just yet.

  • Fourche River Rex

    He may be lots of things, but he is not electable. Congrats Blanche, you just won the election.

  • Bill from Sheridan

    I’m not so sure that Kim Hendren will win this Primary. Kim has a terrible record on taxes and in general hasn’t been too conservative in the legislature.

    Everyone thinks that because Kim’s from NWA he’s got this Primary wrapped up. I disagree. NWA primary voters don’t vote on geography, they vote on ideology. A Central Arkansas conservative candidate that has enough money to be viable (a few hundred thousand dollar) would be able to be challenge Hendren.

    I suspect we’ll find out soon enough weather Hendren can be beaten in the Primary. He’s not going to get a free pass.

  • Tason Jolbert

    I hope Sanders is wrong about Baker, if not, my alter-ego Jason Tolbert will go in mourning.

  • The republican party has several members who might try to take up this challenge – remember the name Conrad Reynolds. Just keep it in mind and revisit this site next March.

  • If this is any front page news to anyone at all, it sounds like Tim Griffin will also be running. Considering he seemed to spend the most time working the CRs at their convention this weekend of any Republican speaking there, I think we can assume someone was working on getting some volunteers. He was focusing almost entirely on fiscal and business matters… but damned if I was the only one in that that room with a union card… but then again, I helped the Holt campaigns… Yes, first district is weird that way. Don’t ask.

  • CER,
    I may be misreading your comment, but if this Conrad Reynolds, or anyone else, is looking to get in, it won’t hold till “next March.” It would have to be in the next coupla months. Anyone joining the fray in 2010, esp. with zero name ID, will almost certainly be too far behind to catch up.


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