Arkansas Republican Party chairman Doyle Webb and Sen. John Boozman image

  • Brian Chilson
  • Arkansas Republican Party chairman Doyle Webb and Sen. John Boozman

Heard from all the Republican speakers at the GOP shindig at the Embassy Suites: “It’s a great night for Arkansas Republicans.”

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Heard from several post-Ohio tally news at the Obama party at Stickyz and the Democratic Party gig at Cotham’s: “Thank God.”

President Barack Obama saved the night for Arkansas’s Democrats, who watched, without surprise but still with horror, as the Arkansas General Assembly went Republican.

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Kim and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr image

The vast amounts of money from right-wing interests out of state who have Arkansas Republicans on a string was in evidence tonight at the Embassy Suites: Klieg lights in front of the hotel announced the party from a mile away, Hollywood style; inside, the huge ballroom was fitted out with huge flat screen monitors and projected images across the stage and filled to the brim with a merry crowd, folks dressed mostly in red and virtually all white. Waitresses balancing trays of multiple tumblers of bourbon made their way through the tightly packed room as Republican Party of Arkansas head Doyle Webb brought notables to the stage, like Sen. John Boozman, who recalled a time in the state legislature when his colleagues would point at him and say “there’s the Arkansas Republican caucus’ senior member and its junior member.” Asa Hutchinson, referring to the lights outside, said, “I can remember a day when you might not want to call attention” to a Republican gathering, then more “clandestine” than front and center. Kim Darr, the wife of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, and two of her friends told a reporter they were new to politics and Darr himself, joining them, said his own political interest was recent, dating to the 2008 election.

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