“The Tolbert Report” might as well be the tenth blog to post that Rob Moritz at the Arkansas News Bureau is reported that Doyle Webb and Joseph Wood have both announced their intention to run for chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, following the announcement over the weekend that Dennis Milligan will not seek reelection at the December 13 meeting of the RPA Executive Committee. I know both Mr. Webb and Mr. Wood and either one would do a great job but both come from two different perspectives.
I first got to know Doyle Webb when I worked for an organization called the Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council, which represents Christians across Arkansas on various social issues such as the abortion and gambling. Webb was a State Senator at that time and was always someone we could count on to work with us and listen to our concerns on issues before the state legislature. I now have become active in the Republican Party of Saline County and Webb is one of the key leaders of our county committee. He has worked tirelessly for years to build a successful Party both at the county and state level. He is the voice of experience in the race and has seen the ups and downs of the party over the years.
I also got a chance to know Joseph Wood as alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. (I took the above picture of him with Michael Steele, rumored candidate for National RNC Chairman.) I was an alternate delegate for Gov. Huckabee while Wood was the sole delegate from Arkansas pledged to John McCain. It is significant to note that he was the sole delegate as this demonstrates the respect the Executive Committee has in Wood. There were about as many candidates for McCain delegate as there were for Huckabee delegates; however, based on the results of the February Primary, there were 29 spots for Huckabee and only 1 spot for McCain. The fact that Wood was selected for this one spot shows how respected he is with the committee that will also choose the next chairman. The entire week Wood was always equipped with a smile and a positive outlook. You could tell he made a point to spend time with everyone in the delegation and make sure everyone felt welcome as part of the group. In my opinion, Wood represents the younger voice of the party; yes, he even blogs! Although not as experienced as Webb, Wood would represent a fresh face and bring a new perspective to the party.
Both men are already wonderful leaders within the state Party and would do a great job as chairman. I have also heard rumors that Jake Files from Fort Smith and youngster Tyler Dunegan of Osceola are considering throwing their hats in the ring as well. I am pleased that quality candidates have stepped forward and I believe this is a positive sign for Arkansas Republicans and testament to the work done by Milligan and other party leaders to have such a strong structure within our state.