Dem Underdog in Ark. Gov. Primary Charges Party Is 'Unfair'

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 08:01 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An underdog Democratic candidate for governor in Arkansas claims she’s getting the shaft from her own party.

Lynette Bryant, a substitute teacher and education advocate who is black, filed a complaint with the NAACP and the Democratic National Committee against her state and local party organizations for "unfair treatment"of her candidacy, KATV.com reported.

In her complaint, she charged she was snubbed as a speaker at a Saline County Jefferson Jackson Dinner. "Upon further conversation and restating my request to speak, Mr. (George 'Bucky') Ellis [Chairman of the Saline County Democratic Party] told me no, I could not Speak at the Saline County Jefferson Jackson Dinner again," she wrote in her complaint, KATV.com reported.

She also charged the chairman of the state party even introduced Mike Ross, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, as "the next governor of Arkansas" at an event where both candidates were in attendance.

She urged the NAACP and DNC to get involved to ensure a "fair race,"KATV.com reported.

The head of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, Candace Martin, in a statement, countered the party "does not endorse in primaries and has not endorsed any candidate in the gubernatorial primary." The primary is May 20.

The National Journal wrote Thursday the allegations are "rather ironic" since Democrats "always accuses Republicans of racism and waging a 'war on women.'"

"She feels as if the system is rigged against her,"the National Journal wrote. "And that's wrong, no matter how you slice it.”

Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson are in a dead heat in the latest poll.

"This is not where this race will end up, but it is a representation of where it is today," Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics editor-in-chief, said in a statement.

"The anticipated match-up between Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson appears to be very close. Against their underdog rivals, these two front-runners appear to be in solid shape."

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