TOP STORY >> GOP candidates square off
Leader staff writer
The two Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives’ seat in the First District both live in Cabot and both know each other, but no one would go so far as to call it a friendship.
Both Cabot Mayor Stubby Stum-baugh and juvenile probation officer Patrick D’Andrea want to oust Marion Berry, the Democratic incumbent.
Stumbaugh on D’Andrea, “He’s never been a friend, just an acquaintance.”
D’Andrea on Stumbaugh, “I know him through a friend of a friend. I walk on my side of the street and he walks on the other side.”
So far, they have followed the 11th Commandment of GOP politics: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Repub-lican.
Stumbaugh announced in late summer that he planned to run as a Republican in a bid to oust Berry.
Earlier this month, D’Andrea announced that he would take on Stumbaugh in the Republican primary.
Stumbaugh and D’Andrea will face each other in the Republican primary next year. Berry, a wealthy farmer who was elected to Congress in 1996, doesn’t have a Democratic opponent, at least not yet.
All Stumbaugh said after the announcement was that he welcomed D’Andrea into the race.
D’Andrea said at the time that he had nothing to say about Stum-baugh.
“I’m not going to spend my time advertising for another candidate,” D’Andrea said the day he announced his candidacy. The pair, friends or not, seem to be lightning rods for attracting controversy and problems.
According to sources, D’Andrea was in trouble a number of times as a young Marine and was administered punishment for his infractions.
About two years ago, D’Andrea filed bankruptcy and is paying off thousands of dollars in an IRS judgment.
For D’Andrea, this is his second foray into the political arena. He ran for a seat on the Sherwood City Council two years ago and lost to Keith Rankin. He said D’Andrea ran a good campaign.
“I don’t know much about the man, but he seemed sincere about what he wanted to do,” Rankin said.
Stumbaugh’s past has been well-documented.
As a young Little Rock police officer, Stumbaugh was suspended a handful of times. Stumbaugh said none of the offenses were bad enough to get fired for and most were while he was in his 20s.
As mayor, Stumbaugh has been involved in a number of controversial situations with other city officials and commissions.
A recent $2,270 bill for an ad congratulating Stumbaugh as being nominated as one of Arkansas Business’ “40 under 40,” a list of the state’s young leaders has also caused consternation for Stumbaugh as some aldermen objected to the ad being paid with city funds.
Stumbaugh made the decision to run after he met with a number of officials in Washington, D.C. who encouraged him to run.
“I believe the voters of the First District have the right to know any mistakes I’ve made in my past as well as my accomplishments. The bottom line is that while my life has not always been perfect, it has molded me into an effective leader,” Stumbaugh said.