Democrat Blanche Lincoln and Republican John Boozman, winners of their parties’ primaries for this year’s US Senate race in Arkansas, will face Green Party candidate John Gray, retired engineer and current Mayor of Greenland, AR. Lincoln, a leading beneficiary of retail giant Wal-Mart who was supported in a close primary race by President Barack Obama, has drawn the ire of progressives for her opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act and her efforts to weaken health care reform.
John Gray, the Arkansas Green Party candidate, is running on a platform that includes: enacting a Medicare For All single payer health care system, ending corporate personhood, fixing trade to make America self-sufficient and eliminate the trade deficit, breaking up “too big to fail” corporations, and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Although polls have shown Sen. Lincoln trailing Boozman by a larger margin than her primary challenger, Lt. Governor Bill Halter, she still managed to overcome Halter in a runoff. Conservative independent Trevor Drown is also in the race.
SEIU president Mary Kay Henry has stated that her union would not back Lincoln even if she won the Democratic primary. In 2008, Arkansas Green US Senate candidate Rebekah Kennedy earned over 20% of the vote in a two-way race against incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor. It will be interesting to see if Arkansas progressives and independents will support John Gray in his race with a conservative Republican, a conservative independent, and a Democrat who Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher has called a “radical corporatist”.