Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Endorses Chris Jones in Democratic Primary
LITTLE ROCK, AR - In today's Sunday edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and ahead of the May 24 Arkansas primary election, the paper’s editorial page ran an editorial with its endorsements in primary gubernatorial races. The following editorial excerpts explained the paper’s support FOR Chris Jones in the Democratic primary for governor.
And for governor . . . (Published May 15, 2022)
… On the Democratic side of the primary election, Chris Jones seems to be heading for a win without a runoff, too. In a race with five people, that's not something to sneeze at. According to Talk Business, Mr. Jones polls at nearly 60 percent of the vote.
It's easy to see why. Chris Jones is one of the most impressive candidates we've seen in years.
Politics ain't rocket science, but sometimes rocket scientists get involved in politics. For example, see Chris Jones: physics and math degree from Morehouse on a NASA scholarship, master's degree in nuclear engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. from MIT . . . . Don't take him on in a Jeopardy! binge-watch during Science Week.
He told us his interest in politics started when he was 8 years old. His father took him somewhere, and he noticed a man at the center of attention called "a governor." The governor's name was Bill Clinton. He turned to his father:
"I said, 'What's a governor?'
"He said, 'Let's go home and look it up.'"
Typical response from a parent back in those days. His father made young Chris go to the encyclopedia in the house and look it up. He's been interested in politics ever since.
He hasn't held political office before but is no stranger to public speaking. He was the executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and was active in his college(s).
Chris Jones comes off as a different kind of Democrat--sometimes. He doesn't necessarily oppose charter schools, but he does want more funding for regular public ones. He says he wants strong borders, too.
On other issues, he falls in line with the party, but still makes a lot of sense: On cutting income taxes, "I'm a mathematician, and the math doesn't add up . . . . We have unpaid bills. We have bridges that are collapsing," not to mention education needs.
He's easy to listen to. Which might explain why he's doing so well on the campaign trail: "One thing that cuts across all of it, is people want to be heard. And they feel like they haven't been." (In some of the places he's visited, he says, the last Democratic candidate they saw in person was Bill Clinton.)
We were talking to a friend the other day about this race, and especially what happens after these two primaries are over. He said it will be an interesting debate between Sarah Sanders and Chris Jones in October, or whenever it's scheduled.
Both of these contenders [Jones as well as Republican candidate Sarah Sanders] are rising stars in their parties. But only one of them is world famous. And her personality, fund-raising and former boss might be too much for anybody to overcome. See the candidates who left the gubernatorial campaign once she got in it.
But don't sleep on Chris Jones. If this past week has proven anything, it's that 80-to-1 long-shots sometimes pay off.
To read the entire editorial, please visit: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/may/15/and-for-governor/ (This link might require a subscription. If so, we encourage you to consider subscribing; local journalism is worth paying for.)
Today’s endorsement by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette follows a recent poll from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College that affirmed that Jones is the frontrunner to clinch the party’s nomination for governor, garnering 60% of the vote, with no other contender cracking 5%. Jones has campaigned in all 75 counties, launched television and radio ad buys, has garnered endorsements from both grassroots volunteers and the leaders of the Democratic caucuses in the Arkansas House and Senate, and raised more than $1.7 million.
The Jones campaign launched in his hometown of Pine Bluff and has opened a campaign office there, as well as in the rural community of Hughes, and in Little Rock. Jones is running to bring Preschool, Broadband, and Jobs to every part of Arkansas, leaving no community behind. In recent weeks, Jones has released three ad spots, including “Great Minds,” “Every Last Street” and “Skywalker.”
ABOUT DR. CHRIS JONES
Dr. Chris Jones grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A son of two preachers, Chris was raised with a strong sense of faith. He attended Morehouse College on a NASA Scholarship for physics and math, then went on to study at MIT becoming a nuclear engineer and earning a Ph.D. in urban planning. After becoming ordained as a minister, Chris returned home to Arkansas and led the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. Through this work, he has seen firsthand how disparities within Arkansas have gotten worse, not better. He believes there is much room for growth, including improving public education opportunities in every community, strengthening infrastructure from roads to broadband access, protecting and securing our right to vote, and bridging the rural and urban divide. Chris has faith in Arkansas’s potential, and he is running for governor to ensure every person in Arkansas has an opportunity to succeed.