8:34 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Tom Cotton has beaten incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas's U.S. Senate race, Fox News projects.
Cotton, a first-term member of the House of Representatives, is also an Army veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the first veteran of those wars to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Pryor was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and was reelected with no opponent in 2008. His father, David Pryor, once held the Senate seat Cotton has now won.
The GOP has also won the governorship in Arkansas, with Republican Asa Hutchison beating Democrat Mike Ross. Hutchison will succeed two-term Democrat Mike Beebe.
Arkansas Republicans will now control both U.S. Senate seats, the governoship, and all four House seats for the first time in the state's history.
Ken Tomlinson wrote about Cotton in 2011 for THE WEEKLY STANDARD, a year before the Republican's first political campaign for the House:
A rural Arkansas farm boy, Cotton made his way to Harvard and Harvard Law, where he graduated with distinction, with a stop to study at the Claremont Graduate University in between.
Cotton was walking out of a law school class when he learned terrorists had struck the World Trade Center. A world of legal wealth and prestige lay before him, but inside he sensed he soon would be going to war.
Those who know Cotton well are struck by his systematic demeanor, which leads him to lay plans before acting. He had obligations to fulfill before he could volunteer for Army service. He had committed to clerk for a federal appellate judge. Then he went into private practice to pay off his student loans. An Army friend wrote him from Iraq not to worry. “I’m afraid the war will still be on by the time you can get here.”
The Army recruiter examined his record and began explaining that Cotton, given his credentials, would qualify for a nice job with the rank of captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps.
Cotton politely interrupted. “I don’t think you understand. I’m here to volunteer for the infantry.”
And seven years ago, Dean Barnett included Cotton in his TWS essay on the 9/11 Generation:
Cotton enlisted for one reason: He wanted to lead men into combat. His recruiter suggested that he use the talents he had spent seven years developing at Harvard and join the JAG Corps, the Armed Forces' law firm. Cotton rejected that idea. He instead began 15 months of training that culminated with his deployment to Iraq as a 2nd lieutenant platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Baghdad.
The platoon he led was composed of men who had already been in Baghdad for five months. Cotton knew that a new platoon leader normally undergoes a period of testing from his men. Because his platoon was patrolling "outside the wire" every day, there was no time for Cotton and his men to have such a spell. He credits what turned out to be a smooth transition to his platoon's noncommissioned officers, saying, "The troops really belong to the NCOs." After six months, Cotton and his platoon redeployed stateside.
While in Iraq, Cotton's platoon was awarded two Purple Hearts, but suffered no killed in action. His larger unit, however, did suffer a KIA. When I asked Cotton for his feelings about that soldier's death, the pain in his voice was evident. After searching for words, he described it as "sad, frustrating, angry--very hard, very hard on the entire company."
He then added some thoughts. "As painful as it was, the death didn't hurt morale," he said. "That's something that would have surprised me before I joined the Army. Everyone in the Infantry has volunteered twice--once for the Army, once for the Infantry. These are all grown men who all made the decision to face the enemy on his turf. The least you can do is respect them and what they're doing."
5:53 PM, Oct 30, 2014 • By JAY COST
Chuck Todd of NBC News is traveling the country, talking to voters, and generally filing interesting reports.
The Democrats’ strategy.Oct 20, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 06 • By FRED BARNES
Along with thousands of others, I got an email from Bill Clinton last week. “Hey there,” the former president began. He was raising money for the Democratic candidates. “There’s an election around the corner, so I’ve been traveling around the country to help Democrats who are standing up for the values you and I believe in, Fred,” he continued, adding a nice personal touch.
10:35 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For years, it's been axiomatic among political observers that the GOP "brand" is damaged. There is certainly merit to this observation, though it is often bandied about in contexts where there's little to no evidence supporting that conclusion.
8:14 AM, Oct 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Mark Pryor, a Democrat from Arkansas facing a tough reelection, can't give a straight answer when asked about President Obama's response to Ebola:
"Do you think that the Obama administration has done an appropriate job handling the Ebola crisis?" an MSNBC reporter asked.
12:41 PM, Sep 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Mark Pryor did not own a home in Arkansas, the state he represents in Washington, during his first four years in the U.S. Senate. And now it appears he lives part-time at the Washington, D.C. home of his brother, a top lobbyist for Microsoft.
3:41 PM, Sep 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Congressman Tom Cotton, the Republican running for Senate in Arkansas, blasts his Democratic opponent, Mark Pryor, for refusing to debate foreign policy issue.
The fall of the Arkansas Democrats.Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By FRED BARNES
In 1949, Harvard political scientist V. O. Key Jr. declared in his book Southern Politics in State and Nation that in Arkansas “we have the one-party system in its most undefiled and undiluted form.” Other Southern states, nearly as Democratic in those days as Arkansas, gradually became Republican. Arkansas didn’t. One-party Democratic rule in the state lasted another 60 years.
12:52 PM, Sep 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas's largest newspaper, has an editorial criticizing Democratic senator Mark Pryor and praising his Republican challenger, congressman Tom Cotton. Here's an excerpt:
Going all-negative, all the time against Tom Cotton. Sep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By FRED BARNES
"Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola,” a TV ad in Arkansas declared last week. The ad came from Democrat Mark Pryor, who is running for reelection to the Senate. Cotton, a House member, is his Republican opponent in the November 4 election. The ad failed to mention that after voting against an early version of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, Cotton voted for the bill once a provision he objected to was removed.
2:14 PM, Aug 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest attack ad from the Mark Pryor campaign is, well, absurd. Here's Politico's description of the 30-second spot: "Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is citing the recent scare over the Ebola virus in a new attack ad against his GOP opponent, the first mention of America’s preparedness for a possible pandemic in a 2014 political advertisement."