The state is dotted with politicians who have failed to obtain their goals for public service. They come from all ranks of life and are too numerous to name in a short article. Most of them simply fade back into private life after a loss and after a long campaign trail. Some of them pick back up and campaign for a different office, and some of them simply become the background voices crying out in the wilderness for other issues and candidates. Curtis Coleman, John Cowart and Beth Anne Rankin are three such politicians who have transitioned into those voices crying in the wilderness.
Curtis Coleman lost his bid recently for Arkansas Governor. Almost from the start of Curtis’ two year campaign people were saying, “I like Curtis, but he can’t win.” Those people did not seem to have any certain reason that Curtis could not win; they simply said he couldn’t do it. Curtis had already lost one campaign for the U.S. Senate, and then built a Constitutional organization to spread information about the origins of the Constitution. Over two years ago he leaped into a run for Arkansas Governor and faced an uphill battle from the start.
John Cowart, a detective with the Texarkana Arkansas Police force at the time, felt the calling to run for Congress. He ran in the primaries against Beth Anne Rankin and Tom Cotton. Cotton won that race beating both Rankin and Cowart by a good margin. John found himself paying off campaign debts and assessing his life. He has since moved into a position with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Beth Anne Rankin spent time working with Governor Mike Hucakbee’s office before starting her own company. In her second bid for the fourth district Congressional office she found herself defeated by newcomer Tom Cotton. She had constantly campaigned on the ideas of bringing the country into financial stability and reminding the citizens that the Congress has the purse strings and controls spending. After her loss she returned to her production company in Magnolia, Arkansas.
Curtis, John, and Beth Anne all share two things. First, they have all lost their bids for important, political post. However, the second thing they share is perhaps more important than the first. They share an ability to reach people.
Curtis Coleman built one of the largest, grass roots campaigns the state had ever seen. He had call stations in almost every county, he had supporters around the state and he worked to spread not only the Curtis Coleman for Governor message, but also the message of a conservative Arkansas Republican Party. The impact he has had is still being felt around the state as he works with other Republican candidates to ensure election in November.
John Cowart has taken his voice to the Fourth District meetings where he has helped impact policies and continues to spread the Republican message. John has the ability to speak to anyone about almost any topic and continues to inspire young people to campaign and strive for offices where they can serve the people of Arkansas.
Beth Anne Rankin continues through her business to touch young people’s hearts, but she can also be seen at most Republican meetings around the state. She has the ability to stand and deliver inspiring speeches, motivate people, and reach out as the public figure that Facebook and other online organizations continue to call her across the Internet.
Curtis, John, and Beth Anne still matter to the Republican Party of Arkansas. Not only do they have the ability to speak at events or for candidates, they have the experience of having run campaigns, of having traveled a good portion of the state, and of having reached out to the people of Arkansas during some stressful times. The party needs them. The party needs them to stand up, support candidates, continue their work, and reach out to young people across the state. The impact they can and do have can be tremendous for candidates, the party and the state. And, who knows, in the near future, we may need them to step up once again and run for an important office. The qualities of honesty, integrity, and hope is something we should all be looking for in any candidate that runs for office, and these three have an abundance of that to share.