I’ll be out of pocket this morning, driving back from Fayetteville, where I talked last night with the Democratic Women of Washington County. Denise Garner is just one of the gang of women (and a few good men) who’ve stepped up to challenge the Republican political order in the Northwest corner of the state.

You can’t win if you don’t run and they’ve fielded a big slate in NWA. I don’t think anyone underestimates the incline of the hill, particularly as you move north from central Fayetteville. But the energy is high and it’s a long game.

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Denise Garner’s challenge of guns-a-blazing Rep. Charlie Collins is probably the premier race in terms of hope for a pickup. If shoe leather does it, Garner has a shot. Several neighbors of Charlie are sponsoring house parties for Garner. To know his gun and economic policies is to know a change is needed.

Joyce Kennedy, another Lake Charles, La., ex-pat, persuaded me to make the visit and it was well worth it. Great to talk with such well-remembered political lights as Don Nelms, Sue Madison, Ann and Morriss Henry and Lindsley and Steve Smith. Those were the days.

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My message was cautious: Don’t ever forget that the larger world doesn’t necessarily reflect the shared opinions of those in the room last night or downtown Fayetteville or Hillcrest. Figuring out how to reach the rest is the problem. Reflecting on the potential issues, I finally decided maybe the best hopes in a laundry list of ideas are cleaning up the stable of corrupt Arkansas government and healthcare (oh, go ahead and call it Obamacare. People have come around.)

The Washington County women are selling a fine blue T-shirt with the names of the women candidates on the back. Their Facebook page.

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