You know the news by now, Hudson Hallum is resigning and pleading guilty, and some folks are going with him:
The U.S. attorney’s office has announced that four men, including Democratic state Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion, pleaded guilty today to felony conspiracy to commit election fraud in Hallum’s special election victory last year. The case charges paying for bundled absentee ballots.
All four appeared today in federal court and were released on their own recognizance. The others were Hallum’s father, Kent Hallum, a car dealer; West Memphis police officer Sam Malone and West Memphis City Councilman Phillip Carter.
Allegations of election fraud have plagued Hallum since he was elected, and I’ve got to admit I didn’t think there was anything to it. Just another example of how wrong I can be sometimes. Regardless, as most of you know by now I have a very low tolerance for any sort of fuckupery, so no sympathy. I do think, judging from the statements Hallum’s put out and from looking back on some things that this is more a case of stupidity than being a criminal mastermind or something. Shame to see what could have been a promising career snuffed out like that. But I’ll give him this, Hallum is at least taking full responsibility for his actions and falling on his sword here. Again, low tolerance for fuckupery, but I can respect that. It’s better than piling more lies on top of the existing ones and playing the victim while your close supporters continue to take to social media to protest your innocence against all the evidence like a certain other former Democratic candidate I could think of.
There’s no Republican running for this seat and it’s too late for Dems to get another candidate so now either Green candidate and professional huckster Fred Smith wins or Hallum, whose name is still on the ballot, wins and a special election is called, which seems more likely to me. Yeah if I were the constituents of this district, I would feel cursed. Personally, count me in on the Draft Kim Felker movement for the next go around. I mean she did call all this from the start, and she was a damn good candidate. Yes those of us looking for party unity last year were pretty ticked at her for not helping Hallum, but she was right and we were all wrong, you gotta acknowledge that and tip your hat to it. I don’t know if she’d be willing to run, but I hope she is-she was a damn good candidate in the primary, very progressive, and I don’t think anyone would ever question that she’s ethical and would be a breath of fresh air in that district. So like I said, consider this the start of the Draft Kim Felker movement.
As for what this means for control of the Arkansas House, it certainly makes holding it one seat trickier, and let’s face it, we’re talking about a House majority next year that could be insanely close, assuming we defy expectations and keep it. This just makes a strong offense that goes after vulnerable Republicans like Hubbard, Mauch, Biviano, etc. all that more important.