Sen. Jason Rapert, the Faulkner County Republican, spoke to a NAACP session in Conway yesterday and encountered a question from his announced Democratic opponent, Maureen Skinner.

Her campaign took offense at his response. By its account Skinner, a licensed psychological examiner, tried to question Rapert about the amount of time he spent on Senate work and the location of his office. He once was a financial consultant with a Conway office, but has closed that and turned to an evangelical enterprise.

By Skinner’s account, Rapert responded:

“Excuse me…actually… if you don’t know this woman is actually running against me so she is very interested trying to make this political but we’re not going to do that here ma’am…”

Communications Director for the Skinner campaign James Thweatt said, “This exchange by
Senator Rapert is unfortunately expected. To refer to one’s opponent as ‘this woman’ in this day and age is frankly ludicrous but we’ve come to expect this sort of archaic attitude from Senator Rapert.”

In his defense, Rapert actually announced last year that he was moving full-time into the ministry business, with opening of a center on a 40-acre site on the Arkansas River for his Holy Ghost Ministries.

A better question for Rapert might have been a followup on his reported comment at the same UCA session yesterday in opposition to men covering maternity care costs in their insurance premiums.