The Year of the Midterm

The Year of the Midterm

It is officially 2022! And this is the year of the midterm. Being proactive on social media, sharing articles and engaging in comment sections is a guilty pleasure of this era, but the only true civic duty citizens have is at the ballot box.

The upcoming midterm elections will be held Tuesday, November 8, 2022. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are contested, as well as 34 of the 100 Senate seats, including one of the Arkansas Senate seats. Texas governor will also be decided, marking a possible third term for incumbent Governor Greg Abbott (R).

To vote in the next elections, registration must be completed in the state of residency. The Texas application is mail-in only. The Arkansas registration application is mail-in or may be completed in person at various official locations, such as the county clerk’s office or any public library.

Texarkana is in the First Congressional District of Texas. Since 2004, Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) has presided over the district. He is not seeking re-election in the upcoming midterm, but his name will still be on the ballot in the state of Texas. According to his official campaign website, Gohmert announced on November 22 he would run for attorney general against incumbent Ken Paxton (R).

Aditya Atholi is the new House Republican candidate to represent District 1. Previously a staff member for Rep. Gohmert, Atholi aims to succeed his mentor in the next congressional election. According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Atholi is from Center, Texas, and joined the Marines after graduating from Rice University; after working several years in the oilfields, he’s trying his hand at politics.

He is running against Democratic candidate, Rosey Quinn. Her FEC Candidacy Form states her Twitter campaign handle is
“@rosey_quinn2021,” but the account does not exist. More information about Quinn could not be found.

Texarkana is in the Fourth Congressional District of Arkansas. It is currently represented by Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs). Senator John Boozman (R) is also seeking re-election.

Texas does not have gubernatorial term limits, and it has a plural executive branch. This means power is divided among several government positions, a constitutional measure meant to keep the governor’s power in check. The lieutenant governor is one of these positions—currently held by Dan Patrick (R)—and a popular belief is that the position has more power, or influence, than the governor’s.

That being said, Texas governor is still a coveted position and is considered “the face” of the state. Republicans have held Texas in their grips for decades and Democrats cannot seem to shake it loose. But in the 2022 election, Republicans are fighting themselves for it.

Three new, yet familiar, names joined the next Republican Primary on March 1 to challenge Governor Abbott including Allen West, Don Huffines and Chad Prather. Since the Republican focus is divided at home, 2022 shows promise for Democrats if they are able to mobilize voters.

Former Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-T) attained national stardom during his 2018 senate campaign against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz (R-T), and later sought the Democratic presidential party nomination banking on name recognition. He has spent months engaging voters while traveling the Lone Star State, even visiting Texarkana in December.

Former White House Press Secretary and Texarkana native Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) exited the Trump administration publicly with her focus set on running for governor of Arkansas. Sanders is the daughter of former State Governor Mike Huckabee, who was a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and 2016.

Current Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) is finishing his second term and cannot be re-elected; he endorsed Sanders, who is officially the only Republican in competition. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) dropped out of the race early in November to instead run for lieutenant governor.

Voter turn-out is usually much lower for midterms than the Presidential general elections. Statistics show that in recent years, most midterm election votes are cast by older Republicans. This is proof that it is hard for Democrats to mobilize during midterms. There is also a strong trend in United States history that the incumbent presidential party loses seats during midterms, and this is especially true in the House.

Voting in elections and running for office are not the only ways citizens are involved in the government process. Political activism is the bread and butter of democracy.

In Arkansas, The Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) is the official Republican organization at the county level. “Our objective is simple, to elect qualified Republican candidates to every public office, and to fulfill the needs of the citizens of Arkansas in a manner consistent with the beliefs and principles of the Republican Party,” said MCRC Chair, Diana Lowe. “The committee members are responsible for organizing and canvassing county precincts, recruiting qualified Republican candidates, raising party funds, identifying poll workers, assisting officers of the County Committee and supporting and working to elect Republican candidates.”

In 2020, the MCRC was recognized by the Republican Party of Arkansas as the “Best Overall County Committee” in the state out of all 75 counties. “We take great pride in executing the duties and expectations of the county committee,” said Lowe. The MCRC is focused on community engagement, and in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections have scheduled a “Candidate Meet and Greet” for the citizens of Miller County on April 12, 2022, at Crossties in downtown Texarkana.

Do not let phone screens become the final resting place for your individual political engagement. It is important to register and vote in every election cycle to secure that your voice is heard. Make sure you are registered now and be ready to take part in November.

Lowe urges efficacy and welcomes those who are interested in greater involvement. “[MCRC] meetings may be attended by the public and we have visitors from the community frequently” says Lowe; “We can be contacted on our Facebook page or our website.”


 

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