State Rep. Jonathan Barnett of Siloam Springs is about to have a portion of U.S. Highway 412 named for him by the state Highway Commission. Barnett served a term on the commission. A little local signage won’t hurt because, as Talk Business notes in reporting the development, Barnett may face a challenger in the May Republican primary.
Naming public stuff for living people is still problematic, precisely for situations such as these. But Barnett is only following in the footsteps of the man who appointed him to the Highway Commission, Gov. Mike Huckabee. (And his wife.)
It is possible to turn down such gestures, isn’t it? To say modesty precludes acceptance of such a lovely thought as naming a stock pond, nature center, lake, highway, cattle barn or whatever after somebody who strutted through the halls of the Capitol a few years?
There are some waste pits in Central Arkansas just begging to carry the names of members of the Shale Caucus.
PS — ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL DEPARTMENT: A note from a Republican indicates something near glee at the notion Barnett might face a primary. By this account, Bella Vista residents aren’t happy that Barnett never delivered them the bypass he promised them, while getting one for Siloam Springs. If he’s in a contested primary, party rules also apparently say he’d have to give up his Republican National Committe membership.