Many thanks to our readers who contributed to Cecile Bledsoe’s campaign to represent Arkansas’s third congressional district. Bledsoe ended up losing by about 1,300 votes (3.8 percent). She carried 11 of 12 counties in the district, but was swamped in the largest, Benton County, where her opponent Steve Womack is a mayor (of Rogers, Arkansas).
Womack had outpolled Bledsoe 31-13 in the initial primary. By that standard, Bledsoe’s performance in the run-off, where she really got her message out, was more than respectable. I’m told that contributions presumed to be from Power Line readers played a big role in enabling Bledsoe to present her conservative message.
Close doesn’t count in politics. But if Womack had cruised to victory without meaningful conservative opposition, he might well be more inclined, once in Washington, to display his past RINO tendencies. As it is now, Womack knows that, in two years, he will have to answer to an electorate that nearly rejected him, in spite of his advantages, once it was able to hear from a conservative alternative.
A FINAL, FINAL WORD: I should also note that Sarah Palin supported Bledsoe. Palin’s endorsement was the biggest factor in the surge that brought Bledsoe so close to winning.
Palin had a good night. In addition to Bledsoe, she backed Nikki Haley, Carly Fiorina, and Terry Branstad. The latter two were nominated last night, and Haley is firmly in command of her race in South Carolina, after capturing nearly 50 percent of the vote.
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