This past Sunday, Laurie Rushing (R-Hot Springs) sent out a text message asking for campaign contributions. In it, she said, “I have drawn a primary opponent and my campaign is kicking off strong!”
A little asking around and a little internet searching later, it appears that Ernst (Ernie) Hinz is that primary opponent. He has a campaign website and everything, though I could not find any official announcement so far.
Originally from Michigan, Hinz graduated from Central Michigan University. He and his wife, Vicki, moved to the Hot Springs area in 1992. Hinz is currently run The Faces Foundation, which provides facial reconstruction and surgery to correct deformities for people who would otherwise lack the resources to have the surgeries. Vicki Hinz the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. They have one son, Alex, who served in the Navy.
Also, in what I think might be a little bit of well-thrown shade about Laurie Rushing, Hinz’s website notes, “He is a devoted husband and has been married for 34 years to his wife Vicki.”
While beating an incumbent in Arkansas is rarely easy, what with the bizarre practice of letting incumbents run with their title next to their name on the ballot, you have to think that the recent stories about Rushing might leave her more vulnerable than your typical incumbent. (The forthcoming stories about her also probably won’t help her cause.)