I sent several messages to Republican Senate candidate Trent Garner of El Dorado about his position on the Medicaid expansion and the appropriation bill for its continuation. No response so far. He is a former Tom Cotton staff member, so it’s possible he’s following the Cotton template of refusal to answer questions from the Arkansas Times. Cotton, of course, vows to end Obamacare, which pays for the Medicaid expansion.
Garner is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bobby Pierce of Sheridan, who’s supported the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in the past and in the governor’s rebranding of it as Arkansas Works. Pierce is one of several Democrats understandably touchy about carrying a Republican administration’s water on the bill with the expectation that a Republican opponent is lying in wait to use his vote for Asa’s Medicaid Charade (vote against it to save it) against him. Garner’s campaign website makes a point of his opposition to President Obama, in typical Arkansas Republican fashion.
I was told over the weekend that Hutchinson, at an appearance in El Dorado spoke warmly about Pierce’s support. Not an endorsement, but a hat tip.