The 2nd District Congressional race in Arkansas is one of several races which give Democrats a chance of winning back the House of Representatives as the incumbent, Republican Congressman French Hill tries to hold on to his seat for a third term. But before anyone can tackle the incumbent, four Democrats are vying for the nomination to get the chance to move Arkansas back closer to the Democratic traditions that had a lock on most of the state for over 100 years.


The four hopefuls are: Gwen Combs, a wife and mother of one son, and a teacher who was galvanized by two of her students expressing fear of what their fates might be following the election of Donald J. Trump as president. Her first action was to start a Facebook group that became the 7,000 person strong Women’s March on the State Capitol following Trump’s inauguration. Her second action was to declare herself a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.


Jonathan Dunkley, a graduate of the Clinton School and political activist said he wants to bring about a change in Congress by giving the people left behind by the toxic atmosphere in D.C. their voice in Congress, and to make sure that voice is heard in the nation’s capitol. His signature issues are the establishment of a single payer system for American Healthcare and higher education that doesn’t bankrupt students under the weight of student loans.


Paul Spencer, a longtime educator who saw the power of government to change lives from his earliest days growing up the declining steel town of Steubenville, Ohio, who said his motivation is to bring about true campaign finance reform by ridding the political process of the corrupting influence of dark money forever.


Clarke Tucker is a state legislator, a seasoned litigator, and a formidable negotiator who regularly reaches across the aisle in an effort to bridge the political divide between to two major parties, as he says that is the only way to get things done as a member of the minority party. He said he will bring these sensibilities to Congress in an effort to motivate members to break the logjam that is holding up good legislation as he attempts to kill bad legislation.


Early voting began May 7 and Election Day is Tuesday. Unless one of the four candidates receives a majority of votes, at least 50 percent plus one, the two top contenders will face off on June 19 in the runoff election. The winner of the Democratic Primary Election will be the nominee to challenge Hill and Joe Swafford, who is running on the Libertarian ticket, in the Nov. 6 General Election.


These candidate profiles attempt to give voters a more intimate look at the platforms of each candidate in the belief that informed voters make better voters.