By Chris Pinkard
Arkansas 1st District congressional candidate Scott Ellington (D) was in Blytheville Thursday reaching out to local residents in preparation for Tuesday's voting.
Ellington was forced into a runoff against fellow candidate Clark Hall after receiving just over 49 percent of the votes in the May 22 election. The winner of the runoff will face Republican Rick Crawford in the General Election in November.
Ellington said voters in the district could benefit from a representative with a new perspective.
"I joined the race because I'm not happy with what we've got right now," Ellington said. "The current congressman, I feel, votes with his party more than he does in the interest of the people of this district."
According to Ellington, Crawford has voted with the Republican majority nearly 90 percent of the time, a move he feels has not helped the district or its residents.
Ellington said his focus will be on job creation, agricultural advancement and a new farm bill and seeking federal funding for two-year colleges to help prepare a stronger workforce through training programs and research and development.
"The reason we lost out on the automotive plant is because our neighbors to the east were already teaching robotics and we weren't. Those are issues we have to realize and understand that if we don't prepare a work force we aren't likely to get those jobs coming here," Ellington said.
Though running as a Democrat, Ellington said there is too much extremism in Washington from both parties. His goal is to bring some a more even-keel "common sense" approach to the seat.
Early voting continues at the Moore Center until Monday. On Election Day, polls will be open from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. All polling locations will be the same, with the exception of 10th Street Baptist, which has been moved across the street to the choir room in Blytheville High School's band building.