The Arkansas Democratic Party proudly sent around today news in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about a rare candidate for state House in Benton County.

He’s Chris Birch, 28, of Gravette. Soon to finish a law degree, he’s an Air Force veteran and pointing for the seat currently held by Rep. Kim Hendren, father of Sen. Jim Hendren and co-founder of the Hendren Plastics company in the news lately as defendant in a lawsuit over use of drug court defendants as unpaid laborers (the company sends pay to agencies that putatively run rehabilitation programs).

Kim Hendren is not seeking re-election but there’s another member of the family, his daughter, hoping to retain possession of the seat that’s been the family’s since Jim Hendren won it in 1994. The Republican candidate is Gayla Hendren McKenzie. She and Jim Hendren have the governor, Asa Hutchinson as an uncle. A cousin, Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, isn’t seeking re-election in 2018.

Birch describes himself as a bipartisan sort. But he says he’s a public school supporter — as opposed to a voucher supporter — and is willing to stand up for minority rights. He also told the D-G this:


“I have talked to a lot of people in the district, and there is a strong sentiment that political offices shouldn’t be inherited

“Even people who are very conservative, who are Republican and voted for President Donald Trump did so because they are tired of establishment politicians and certain families that gain and maintain power.

It’s a decent campaign plank. But perhaps not so much in a reflexively partisan patch of Arkansas (which, now that I about it, may be most of Arkansas.)

But check Birch’s announcement on Facebook. Good words.