Friday, December 5, 2008

Huckabee and Files Endorse Doyle Webb for Arkansas GOP Chairman (UPDATE)

The race for Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas will be decided next Saturday, December 13 at the state committee meeting in Little Rock. Several names have been mentioned but the race has narrowed over the last several weeks to a two-man race between State Party Treasure Joseph Wood of Fayetteville and long time party leader Doyle Webb of Benton. Jake Files, Chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Committee, had considered running but decided last week to focus instead of a potential state senate race in 2010 after Sen. Denny Altes in term limited.

I spoke via email with Mr. Files today and he let me know that he has decided to support Doyle Webb for state chairman. Files said, “I am supporting Doyle as I think he shares my ideals of what could be accomplished in the RPA in the next few years. He has the ability to lead, to solicit financial support, and to focus on continuing to improve our numbers in the Legislature. I plan on being an active participant in helping him be successful.”

I am sure that this endorsement is welcome news for Doyle Webb. Files is a well respected leader among Republican in Western Arkansas, just down the road from Joseph Wood. Wood has his share of supporters as well including current RPA Chairman Dennis Milligan. The question for Wood will be can he overcome the experience and name recognition of Webb to group of party leader from around the state. One comment I have heard frequently from these leaders is that they know about Wood but most have not ever met him personally. Because of this, I thought I would include a video of Wood talking to Fox News at this year’s Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

UPDATE – The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports on the chairman’s race today and adds a couple pieces of information. First, HuckPAC spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee, tells the ADG that Gov. Mike Huckabee supports his long time friend Doyle Webb in the race. Webb served in the state senate and on the lieutenant governor’s staff when Huckabee was governor of Arkansas.

The ADG also reports that if elected Webb intents to serve as a paid chairman while Wood does not. Party rules state that the chairman must announce their intention prior to the election.

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