Opinion: Arkansas Needs a Conservative, Democratic Governor

Note: I spoke with Senator Teague, and he said he can’t run for another office after his term ends, because his wife has major health issues. I’ll pray for her, and I hope yall will too.

Joe Manchin, conservative, Democratic Senator from West Virginia

We’re more than a year away from the 2022 gubernatorial election, yet a plethora of candidates have already begun their bid to become Governor of Arkansas.

Asa Hutchinson is barred from running again by term-limits — but he wouldn’t win even if he could run, because he’d lose the primary.

Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would make it illegal for local government officials within Arkansas to enforce unconstitutional, federal gun control laws… In a state where nearly fifty-eight percent of residents own a gun —behind only Alaska. The only reason he even thought about blocking the bill is because he’s retiring. Thankfully, the General Assembly will likely override his veto.

We can’t primary Hutchinson, but we can deny his heir the ability to make the same mistakes he did. Yes, the Republican candidates will say they’re pro-gun, they’ll say they wouldn’t have vetoed the bill — but can we trust them? Should we trust them? My answer is, “No!”

We can’t keep electing Republicans, just because they have an “R” beside their name! That won’t protect our Second Amendment rights, because there are many more Republicans, just like Hutchinson, who will take any opportunity they can to stab us in the back. We have to teach them to fear the voters.

But what can we do? The Democrats are even worse! They want to pass radical restrictions banning assault weapons, limiting magazines, and requiring anyone seeking to own a gun to first be approved by the government. We have to vote Republican, right? Wrong!

A Conservative Democrat?

Our Republican Governor doesn’t believe we have the right to keep and bear arms, but you know who does? My Democratic Senator: Larry Teague.

Teague was the only Senate Democrat to vote for the nullification bill, and is generally more socially conservative than his colleagues, because he represents an overwhelmingly conservative district — he’s the Joe Manchin of Arkansas, if you will.

He was also the only Democrat to vote in favor of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill in the Senate, which fully legalized self-defense, by allowing Arkansans to legally shoot someone who is actively trying to hurt them, without first trying to escape — which would only buy the enemy more time to kill you.

He isn’t even being considered by the media as a possible candidate, and I doubt he’ll run, but I hope he does, because Arkansas needs a conservative, Democratic Governor — and not just to protect our right to bear arms.

Senator Teague was one of only two Senate Democrats to vote for SB496, a vital anti-corruption bill, now law, that established uniform dates for special elections — previously manipulated by local officials to keep voter turnout as low as five percent, so they could only inform electors who’d vote their way.

In defiance of the majority of his party: he voted in favor of HB1570, which prohibits transgender healthcare for minors under the age of eighteen. He did, however, vote against overriding Hutchinson’s veto. I’m transgender myself, but it’s hard to argue that literal children should be allowed to take body-altering hormones and permanently modify their genitals.

The ‘Joe Manchin of Arkansas’ also has a long record of supporting pro-life legislation. He even voted for the radically pro-life SB6, which almost entirely bans abortion, except for danger to the life of the mother.

His support for the Second Amendment, anti-corruption legislation, protecting children, and the pro-life movement, in blatant defiance of his party, clearly spells out that he’s a conservative Democrat — more conservative than even Asa Hutchinson.

On economic matters, he’s likely to be more moderate, during a time when the poor and small businesses so desperately need a departure from laissez-faire Republicanism and far-left Socialism. He’d also be a good check against the one-party state Arkansas has become.

I officially endorse Larry Teague for Governor of Arkansas. We need a conservative Democrat to fight for traditional values, to put Arkansans first, and to teach the GOP we won’t be stepped on any longer!

Being an Independent who’s never voted for a Democrat before, I’m bound to have a few disagreements with Mr. Teague, but I honestly believe he’s the best choice for Arkansas, and if elected: will govern better than any candidate currently in the race.

A fictional campaign logo I made for fun

Can he win?

In 2020, Donald Trump won Arkansas with more than sixty-two percent of the vote — a margin of victory of nearly twenty-eight points. Furthermore, both the House and Senate are dominated by a Republican super-majority. So the Democrats have no chance, right?

Wrong! Anthony Bland has no chance; James Russell has no chance; Supha Xayprasith-Mays has no chance — but a Democrat can win, a conservative Democrat, and only a conservative Democrat.

Joe Manchin consistently wins re-election to the office of US Senator from West Virginia, despite his state having a similar partisan composition to Arkansas — despite Trump winning there by nearly forty points.

Furthermore, Jim Justice (now a Republican), ran as a Democrat, and won the 2016 West Virginia gubernatorial election by nearly seven points, on the same ballot that went to Donald Trump by nearly forty-two points.

John Bel Edwards, another Democrat from a deep red state, was elected Governor of Louisiana — just south of Arkansas — in 2015, and went on to win re-election in 2019.

Arkansas even had a Democratic Governor until 2015: Mike Beebe, who was more liberal. Beebe had vetoed a bill that banned abortion when a heartbeat was detected, meanwhile Teague had voted in favor of it.

If Manchin, Justice, Edwards, and Beebe can do it: so can Teague. Senator Teague himself comes from a conservative district, which goes to show: he can win over usually Republican voters.

The biggest challenge will be securing the Democratic nomination. Xayprasith-Mays seems to be the front-runner, having been endorsed by former Governor Jim Guy Tucker. Can a moderate still win during a time when America is hyper-polarized?

The answer is, “Yes!” Arkansas is one of the few states with an entirely open primary, which means Independents — and even Republicans — can vote for who becomes the Democratic nominee. Teague can secure the nomination for Governor by tapping into voters outside the Democratic base, like me.

Larry Teague for Governor!

I’m sorry for thrusting you into the public spotlight, but I truly believe you’d be a great Governor! You fought for conservative, rural Arkansans like me for all these years in the House and Senate, and I hope you’ll fight for us in the Governor’s mansion too!

We need a conservative Democrat to fight for the right of the People to keep and bear arms, to fight against the corruption that has plagued our state’s government for decades, to fight for the children, to fight for the lives of the unborn — to fight for Arkansas.

Native Arkansan and President of the Conservative Worker’s Party. You can find me at theameliamay.neocities.org