Turns out I missed a callback yesterday from Jason Shepherd, who was executive campaign manager for Republican Jim Holt’s Senate bid in 2004. He got 44 percent of the vote to Blanche Lincoln’s 56 percent, spending about $125,000 (counting a primary) to her $6.5 million.

Shepherd called back today, responding to a message I’d left for Holt at his home. Of Holt’s potential candidacy, he said:

“He’s moved from consideration of running to the fund-raising phase. He’s gotten a few unsolicited donations. A few people other than me have been encouraging him to run because they’re not all that excited about the other candidates.”

 

Shepherd said Holt had received some unsolicited mailed contributions (not banked yet, apparently, and thus perhaps arguably outside any  need for reporting) and he’s also “feeling out” others who might make pledges. He said that in two to three weeks Holt should decide if he has sufficient commitments to make a race.

 

Shepherd is  volunteering services to answer media calls. An engineer who lives in Springdale, he said  “politics is more of a hobby.”

 

ALSO: There’s discord in Republican ranks because Gilbert Baker seems to enjoy official support from the National Republican hierarchy. On the other hand, Baker enjoys nothing but heaps of abuse from a small cadre of hard-rightists among Arkanasas Republicans, led by Debbie Pelley. Pelley’s Women’s Action Group argues, risibly, that Baker is a liberal. The group in part relies on rankings of the Arkansas Citizens First Congress, but interprets the rankings loosely, to put it mildly. Her group’s unhappiness is mentioned in the linked article. Bill Kopsky of Citizens First provides a fuller perspective: