By Martin Couch
Bryant Mayorial candidate Jill Dabbs was interviewed recently by The New York Times.
"My campaign story is a small part of a much bigger story they are doing in the south," Dabbs said. "My comments from the interview may or may not be a part of their story, which is to be released next week, but either way it was a great opportunity during this exciting election cycle that we have all found ourselves to be a bigger part of than we may have ever felt we were in the past."
It was widely reported in Arkansas that Dabbs campaign had sought to utilize ballot laws allowing for three names to be used to present to Bryant voters as Republican Jill Dabbs. The intent was to identify Dabbs and her conservative values to voters who might not otherwise know in a non-partisan race that she regards herself as a conservative Republican.
Her opponent, Mayor Larry Mitchell is widely known in Saline County as a Democrat, because of his years as an Arkansas State Representative.
Courts threw out Dabbs' lawsuit seeking to have that designation on the ballot for voters to see. The New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson spoke with Dabbs about the significance of Saline County becoming more Republican.
"I think this swing to the conservative side of the ballot is a direct result of what's going on in Washington," Dabbs said. "And I think it is a long time correction that has been a long time coming. The Republicans let us down and the Democrats took advantage of an opportunity and have made it even worse.
"I believe that the shift is largely out of a new political awareness and activism among voters seeing their liberties slipping away," she continued. "Now the people are speaking out, people that all their lives have avoided politics, and they are getting involved because they are realizing our basic freedoms and liberties are at stake. Our country is being spent into debt in an attempt to spend us out of debt and every hard-working American knows that kind of new math will not work. People do not feel they can change a lot in Washington, but they are convinced that they can make a difference at the local level."
Dabbs is running against Mitchell because she thinks that Bryant has an ineffective approach to local government.
"Many of the voters I am talking to have said they have always been conservative, they were simply Democrat because that was the party that determined who was in office, especially at the local level in this part of the country," she said. "They are so disappointed with what the Democratic Party has done in Washington that there is no way they are going to support anyone aligning themselves with that type of government abuse of power."
Dabbs wants voters to know that she embraces the values and principles of conservative thought now sweeping the GOP.
"People have had enough of the status quo," she said. "This time, just as we're doing at the national level, my candidacy gives the people of Bryant a clear choice. I am all about greater accountability, for real transparency in local government with an online checkbook so they can see exactly how their money is being spent. I want to see the public's voice in Bryant government restored while I take the process of government out of the back rooms where it's been for far too long."