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GOP primary forms in Arkansas House District representing Fort Smith

story by Ryan Saylor
rsaylor@thecitywire.com

House District 76 now officially has a Republican primary and while the last names are the same as 2012, there are no incumbents vying for the seat, only the son of the current incumbent.

Republican Bobby Altes, the son of Rep. Denny Altes, R-Fort Smith, has announced he will seek the seat his father is vacating after this term due to term-limits, setting up a primary challenge with Mat Pitsch, who ran against the elder Altes in the 2012 Republican primary.

A local businessman and a native of Fort Smith, Altes said he was looking forward the campaign and a chance to serve the citizens of the area.

“I am excited to be announcing my candidacy for the office of state representative No. 76 because serving the citizens of Fort Smith has been an important goal of mine,” he said on his Facebook page.

Altes also said he would follow in his father's footsteps, being a consistent conservative voice in the General Assembly.

"Fort Smith deserves to continue with conservative leadership and the pursuit of a value agenda. Those values include limited government, reduced spending and lower taxes and most importantly to make Arkansas a business-friendly environment."

In order to be more business friendly, Altes said Arkansas should "position itself to be more competitive with neighboring states. Current Arkansas practices and laws often discourage new businesses from locating within the state losing precious jobs and revenues.”

Altes also made no bones about his views on Obamacare and alluded to the oft-contentious Private Option, Arkansas' Obamacare solution that takes Medicaid patients and places them on private insurance.

"As a conservative, I am also concerned about forced government health care and the impact on small businesses and full-time jobs. I do not believe in government fixes and feel personal responsibility must play a part in long-term Arkansas solutions."

Altes said he is a lifelong Fort Smith resident, graduating from Southside High School and the University of Arkansas with degrees in business administration and accounting. He has previously worked as a logistics manager for J.B. Hunt Trucking and currently owns Altes Sanitation.

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Altes and Pitsch will face in the GOP primary May 20.

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Comments

Wake Up Fort Smith!

You have got to be kidding me Fort Smith. When are we going to wake up and realize that we cannot keep putting ineffective, questionably ethical leaders in place to work on our behalf in Little Rock? We've finally reached the end of the Altes era of mismanaged politics and now one of our options is to have the son run? He can't even take a stand on private option… which by the way, his father just voted FOR after waffling on for months. His daddy took lobbyist money for his vote and even the son is in LR accepting campaign money from the same lobbyists!!

Son of Denny?

Well,I see that Bobby Altes, son of Denny and assumed anointed one to the mantle of state representative, is having a fund raiser today IN LITTLE ROCK At DOE'S! Hosted by two big time lobbyists; Bruce Hawkins son of Sheriff Marlin Hawkins the author of "How I Stole Elections" and Richard Bearden. Denny voted for the Private Option aka Obamacare in the last session and it is up for another vote today . It doesn't take a lot of smarts to suspect that the fund raiser for Altes Lite is nothing but a payoff to the term limited Altes for a favorable vote. Once again Fort Smith is being controlled by outside interests.

Yes, Son of Denny!

Denny may have voted for the Private Option, but maybe it was because he was the ONLY local state legislator to Vote Against spending $43,000,000 of taxpayers money back in December to subsidize the Public Teachers healthcare premiums. Maybe Denny and his son is against the Picking and Choosing who gets special favors. Fort Smith may be controlled by outside interests, but it isn't from outside Fort Smith. Bobby appears to be his own man but understands working people.

Tea Party Sweetheart

Let me get this straight Jack. You and your Tea Party are so against "Government Expansion" so long as Dimmy Altes votes not to help 40,000 teachers with their rising health care premiums ($43M-a little over $1000 per teacher) but it's ok for him to vote for a $590M private option. Face facts Mr. Swink, Dimmy is NOT doing/voting the way your blessed Tea Party wants him to. A fancy steak house fund raiser for "My Precious" in Little Rock on the same day as the vote on the Private Option? Is Bobby the candidate for the working man? Maybe if that man is working the halls of the legislature for special interests. It surely is not the working man in Fort Smith. Don't get me wrong, I want him and the others to vote for the Private Option. It is just the hypocrisy that galls me. Why don't you have a fund raiser in Fort Smith....maybe that will get Dimmy to change his vote.
Let me get this straight Jack. You and your Tea Party are so against "Government Expansion" so long as Dimmy Altes votes not to help 40,000 teachers with their rising health care premiums ($43M-a little over $1000 per teacher) but it's ok for him to vote for a $590M private option. Face facts Mr. Swink, Dimmy is NOT doing/voting the way your blessed Tea Party wants him to. A fancy steak house fund raiser for "My Precious" in Little Rock on the same day as the vote on the Private Option? Is Bobby the candidate for the working man? Maybe if that man is working the halls of the legislature for special interests. It surely is not the working man in Fort Smith. Don't ...>> Read the entire comment.

Words For Observer

"There you go again" with your BS. The Tea Party is for conservative small government with balanced budgets and it appears that you approve of big out of control government loaded with waste and huge deficit spending. Your attacks on jack for his conservative views identify you as the real "special interest" person that hopes the feeding frenzy will continue at the trough of taxpayer money.

Small Government for Small Minds

A big nation, in a big world cannot survive with a small government. An all or nothing mentality is naïve at best and Jurassic at worst. Tea Partiers are getting duped by professional political chameleon-like candidates pandering to conservative oversimplified ideals which benefit a minority of special interests while ignoring factual history and embracing historical myths to live by.

Big Government for The Mindless

It true that some people need to be led around by the nose from cradle to grave so they need inefficient wasteful minders to steer the herd. How did America become a world power when government was small and mighty but now with big government we are a debtor national and no longer respected in international circles? Yep Mr. Guy, "you can keep your doctor and you can keep your health care plan if you like it" so keep ignoring the facts in the fairyland world of the big "chameleon-like" duper! I just happen to like the Tea that people drank back before government became inefficient when they tried to be everything to everybody and failed!

Simple Joe Simon

Smaller government doesn't necessarily equate with more efficient government. Where do you get the idea that government was small while the U.S.A. became a world power and when ? Not respected in international circles, which circles do you refer to? Debtor nation?....That could also be considered leverage over our creditors in the big picture. So Joe, tell us. Do you not benefit at all from the government? Are you not capable of discerning between all or nothing? Life isn't that simple.

Credibility loss

Jack, Your endorsement just lost you any credibility you may have ever had. This boy is not who we want. As for special favors... It wasn't all that long ago that Senior was down in little rock threatening the state appellate courts budget because Bobby's company had failed to follow the unemployment commissions appeal rules and looked to be out of luck on dodging paying unemployment on an employee. Oh my mistake that was just threats. Special favors.... Threats... Sometimes I confuse the two.

Jack's credibility

Jack's credibility is limited to his ability to raise the volume on and of legitimate observations regarding our local government. Anyone can do that if they are not apathetic. Yet, Mr. Swink puts it out there for better or worse. Still, his TeaParty principles are naïve and archaic to say the least. He got sucked into it probably because it panders to those who are incensed by the wasteful government we see here in Fort Smith. So incensed that throwing the baby out with the bath water is the T Party's solution to everything.

Credible means Believable, Plausible & Altes Comes Out on Top

Anonymous, which candidate do think has the most credible platform, Bobby Altes or Mr Ditsch? Bobby Altes is an accountant by trade and wants to solve real problems for the real working folks in his district? Mr Ditsch presently spends hard working taxpayer's money while he and his cronies try to sell the idea of building a "Inland Harbor" on the Arkansas River that will rival ports on the West Coast. Barge traffic is one thing, I-49 is another, but loading and unloading giant container ships on the Arkansas River? How credible, how plausible is container shipping on the Arkansas River my friend? Think I will stick with someone with sound principles.

Right On Keep On

Your comments have been right on the money jack so keep them coming because the crony spenders of taxpayer money can't stand the truth!

Public Sector

Isn't Pitsch holding a job in the public sector? If so, he has no business running for another taxpayer paid office.

Pitsch Vs. Altes 2014

Let's not forget that both candidates have no experience in this position. We can discuss the merits of the Senior Altes all we want, or the obvious shortcomings of Mr. Pitsch, or the inexperience of either candidate, the bottom line is, they both are new to this. Given they are new, I would rather have a licensed CPA in LR than someone who is not. He has a license he worked hard to get and probably wants to keep his reputation clean.

Really get real!

Check your facts, baby altes is no CPA. At least per the Arkansas licensing he us neither active nor inactive. And his reputation is far from clean. So go back to the drawing board to justify your endorsement of the crony.