LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A local grassroots activist filed paperwork Wednesday to create an exploratory committee to run as a Democrat against Representative French Hill for Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District seat.
Paul Spencer, a teacher at Catholic High School for Boys, says that he was disgusted by the growing power of corporate money in politics and the lack of representation for the needs of Arkansans. He believes the citizens of Arkansas deserve better.
Spencer released the following statement on Thursday:
“The intended purpose of the House of Representatives is to represent the needs of the people. Currently, only the needs of special interests are being represented in the 2nd District. This is evidenced by contemptuous budget priorities, tax policy, and most recently in health care policy that demonstrates reckless disregard for the people of Arkansas. Also, in this current unpredictable political climate, Arkansans deserve representation that will vigorously defend and uphold the core values of our democracy and the rule of law.”
After the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, Spencer founded the local group Regnat Populus (the Arkansas state motto, meaning “The People Rule”), which spearheaded a statewide campaign for ethics reform to limit special interest influence in elections. This resulted in the passage of language that amended Arkansas law to ban direct corporate contributions to candidates.
Spencer has called central Arkansas home for the past 18 years. In addition to teaching History and Government at Catholic High, he runs a small pecan farm and apiary with his wife and three sons on 15 acres in Scott, Arkansas.
"If Spencer jumps into this race, his platform will likely strike a cord with Arkansans across the political spectrum," said Andrew LeMay, spokesperson for the Spencer Exploratory Committee. "Any potential campaign would aim to take on the establishment and give authentic voice to the citizens of the Second District."
Listen to his full interview with Jacob Kauffman on KUAR here.