David Ramsey, making the rounds of election celebrations last night, asked 2nd District congressional winner French Hill if he’d voted for the minimum wage increase. He said he did not.
Most Republicans — notably Senate winner Tom Cotton and the next governor, Asa Hutchinson — put aside reservations about a minimum wage and earlier announced they’d vote for the measure, overwhelmingly approved by voters last night. Hill had avoided a direct answer, saying until the election was over only that he had wanted to study it more for possible negative economic consequences.
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Democrats worked to put the measure on ballots here and elsewhere as a supposed benefit to their candidates. Voters liked a minimum wage increase, but didn’t like Democratic candidates much.
Coattails are funny things. They rarely exist. Consider Gov. Mike Beebe, who leaves office after two terms with broad approval. He campaigned vigorously for the Democratic ticket. It was trounced.
With last night’s vote, the Arkansas minimum wage will rise from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 by 2017.