Rep. French Hill competes against Democrat Joyce Elliot in Arkansas 2nd District

  • Republican Rep. French Hill is running for reelection against Democratic Joyce Elliot in Arkansas' 2nd District.
  • This Central Arkansas-based district includes the state's capital of Little Rock and the surrounding counties. 
  • Elliot was recently added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program which aims to assist the campaigns of top-tier candidates.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republican Rep. French Hill is running against Democratic candidate Joyce Elliot in Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District.

The candidates:

Hill, a former bank CEO and economic policy adviser under the George W. Bush administration, has represented this seat since 2015 and is now seeking a fourth term in Congress. He first ran for the seat in 2014 when its previous representative Tim Griffin retired to run for Lieutenant Governor. 

In Congress, Hill serves on the powerful House Financial Services Committee and is Ranking Member of the National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy Subcommittee. He's voted in line with President Donald Trump 97% of the time since 2017, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Elliot, a native of rural Arkansas, was a public high school teacher before going into politics. She was first elected to the Arkansas state House of Representatives in 2000 and then to the State Senate in 2008, where she currently represents District 31 in Little Rock. 

Her campaign platform emphasizes expanding access to affordable healthcare and COVID-19 care in Arkansas, prioritizing economic relief for workers and businesses from the effects of COVID-19, and improving equitable education, 

Recently, Elliot was added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program for top-tier candidates. Hill is far from a flamethrower or a bombastic partisan, but the DCCC is painting him as a rubber stamp for Trump's agenda and the interests of big corporations. 

In 2018, Hill defeated his Democratic opponent in the general election by a margin of six points, 52% to 46%. 

The district 

Arkansas' 2nd District includes the state's capital city of Little Rock and some of the surrounding suburbs. 

This seat is located in a deep red state and the district may seem safe Republican at first glance. But as election data analyst Noah Rudnick first argued in April, demographic trends including a growing population of young families settling in the Little Rock suburbs and a steadily increasing share of nonwhite voters, could make the district more competitive for Democrats this year and beyond. 

The district backed 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by a margin of 12 percentage points and voted for Trump in 2016 by 10 points, 52% to 42%, according to Daily Kos Elections. 

The money race:

So far, Hill has raised $1.9 million, spent nearly $500,000, and has $1.4 million in cash on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Elliot has raised $1 million, spent nearly $320,000, and has $719,000 in cash on hand. 

What some of the experts say:

The race between Hill and Elliot is rated as "leans Republican" by Inside Elections, Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and the The Cook Political Report.

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