Former Arkansas Green Legislator Loses Democratic Primary

Arkansas held its primaries on May 18. Richard Carroll was defeated for re-election in the Democratic primary, for State House, 39th district. Carroll had been elected as a Green Party legislator in 2008, but after the 2009 legislative session had ended, he had switched from the Green Party to the Democratic Party.

The vote in the May 18, 2010 primary was 19.7% for Carroll, and 80.3% for Tracy Steele, who is an incumbent State Senator. Steele can’t run for re-election to the Senate because he is term-limited. The 2010 race was tough for Carroll, because the district is majority black, and Senator Steele is black, but Carroll is white, although his wife is black.


Former Arkansas Green Legislator Loses Democratic Primary — 13 Comments

  1. This sure reminds me of Audie Bock. She was elected as a Green to the California State Assembly, then made a right turn and became first decline-to-state, then Democrat. The Democratic Party leadership wanted nothing to do with her, and she lost big.
    Perhaps someone will learn the big lesson of these stories: The Democratic Party is controlled by big money, and is one of the twin parties of corporate capitalism. It has lots of room for people who dissent with words, as long as they vote for the politicians who are comfortable under the thumb of big money. When they try anything independent, they are marked for life. So I say, why bother with futile attempts to take over the Democrats? If you want to change the behavior of Democrats, even temporarily and somewhat, the best way to do it is to fight hard for important issues outside the Democratic Party, maintaining your independence. Then, when you develop a following, the Democrats will grab bits of your program and pretend it was theirs all along.
    Example: Social Security was a “communist plot” in the early 1930s, and denounced as such by most Democratic Party leaders. When support for it among the people became overwhelming, the Democrats went ahead and enacted it (in a rather incomplete fashion) and pretended it was their idea all along.
    Not that people should set out to work to influence the Democrats – people should work to accomplish their goals, and if the Democrats come along on certain issues, so be it. Sometimes the Republicans will, too. But if you give up political independence, and become reliable Democratic (or Republican) voters, they cease paying any attention to you. And as soon as they can, they purge you. Ask Richard Carroll how effective his strategy of joining the Democrats has been.

  2. Kevin,

    Bock didn’t lose her re-election as a Democrat, but as an Independent. She didn’t switch to Democrat until after the loss.

  3. Carroll’s election was a fluke in the first place. The former incumbent had been charged with a crime, and as part of a plea bargain, agreed to resign his seat. His wife was then elected in a special election to fill the seat.

    In 2008, it was expected that the wife would run for re-election. At the filing deadline, the old incumbent filed. The Democrats refused to let him be nominated.

    Carroll could not be placed on the ballot as a Democrat, so he ran unopposed as a Green.

    In the general election he had 55% of the vote, to 38% undervote, and 3.5% and 3.1% for two write-in candidates.

  4. Pingback: Former Green Legislator Loses Democratic Primary in Arkansas | Independent Political Report

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  6. Yes, I thought of Audie Bock as soon as I read abt Carroll flip.

    When will people learn. Look at Anthony Pollina in his last run; the Democrats convince him to run as an independent, and viola, he is slaughtered and the Progressive Party has never been the same since Pollina’s defection.

  7. Deran @ #6 – it has long been a strategy of the Vermont Progressives to run some of their candidates as Independents. A number of Progressives have been elected to the state legislature as Independents, and of course Bernie Sanders has been elected as an Independent to the US House and then US Senate.

    I don’t think Democrats wanted Pollina to run at all – either as a Progressive or as an Independent. He received 23% of the vote for Governor as an Independent in 2008 – running as a Progressive in 2000, he received 9.5%

  8. Oh, and the Progressives in 2008 elected their first state Senator and held on to 5 seats in the Vermont House of Representatives.

  9. Kevin @ # 1 – when Audie Bock ran for Congress in the Democrat primary, she challenged Barbara Lee, the most left-wing Democrat in Congress. Barbara Lee voted against the Iraq War and agains the Afghanistan war. Audie Bock ran as a supporter of the War and a supporter of the President.

    I would think the Greens should be glad to be rid of her.

  10. “I would think the Greens should be glad to be rid of her.”

    We don’t miss her one bit.

  11. You stay with the girl you bring to the dance. Changing parties to get re-elected just proves you are a whore.

  12. #12 Richard Carroll first sought to run as a Democrat. But due to the circumstances of the nomination foul-up, this was not legally possible and he would have to run as a write-in. At the time, he said that he didn’t agree with everything in the Green Party platform, but so long as he didn’t actively oppose it, they were OK with it.

    So who was the whore?

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