The "SEC Primary" is days away, and the presidential candidates on both sides are planning to visit Arkansas between now and Tuesday.
Visits to Fort Smith, Bentonville, and of course Little Rock are on the list for this weekend.
But guess which part of Arkansas has no visits scheduled? If you said Northeast Arkansas, you would be right.
It looks like the major candidates for president left us out, and it's puzzling to me.
Region 8 has a lower unemployment rate compared to the national average.
One drive down Red Wolf Boulevard in Jonesboro will show you that our population and businesses are growing.
Arkansas State University is opening the first medical school in this part of the state.
We supply the world with rice, soybeans, cotton and many other crops because of our hardworking farmers, and industries who support them.
We have state-of-the-art hospitals and major factories.
Let's just say we matter.
The fact that presidential candidates from both parties are ignoring us when many of them will be "in the neighborhood" is unacceptable.
So what can we do? We can say something.
If you already know who you're voting for, email your favorite candidate and ask them why?
If you are undecided, email all of them because your vote is worthy of communication.
There are ways our state and national politicians can help us, too.
U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford and Senator John Boozman both do a fantastic job of visiting Northeast Arkansas and for that, we should thank them.
But, I call on them to do a better job within their own party convincing their presidential candidates to visit Region 8.
The Arkansas Democratic Party is on the hook too.
Getting the former First Lady of the state to put Northeast Arkansas on her visit list should be a given and Bernie Sanders needs to see what we're all about.
We have to be more vocal with our elected officials and with our candidates if we want this to change. Truth is, the Presidential candidates are the ones losing out by coming to Arkansas but not stopping in Northeast Arkansas.
Making sure they know it, and telling them that we are worth a visit, makes this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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