LITTLE ROCK — U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., announced Thursday the creation of Women for Pryor, a grassroots coalition that will seek to rally the support of women voters in the second-term senator’s tough election fight with U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle.
The coalition will be co-chaired by Lottie Shackelford, former mayor of Little Rock, and Jimmie Lou Fisher, former state treasurer.
“We want to make Women for Pryor an active, working organization,” Shackelford said at a rally for Pryor at a Little Rock restaurant. “The bottom line is, if we’re going to win this, and we must, it means all of us working together, women for Mark Pryor.”
Pryor touted his support of a proposed ballot measure that would raise Arkansas’ minimum wage gradually from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017. The secretary of state’s office is working to verify whether enough valid signatures were submitted in support of the measure to place it on the November ballot.
Pryor also noted that he voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that sought to reduce the pay gap between men and women but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate.
He accused Cotton of not listening to Arkansas on women’s issues.
“We know who he’s listening to and we know why, because they are spending millions and millions of dollars on his behalf to go to Washington for the next six years and vote against Arkansas again and again,” Pryor said.
Cotton spokesman David Ray responded Thursday.
“Arkansas women know that the Obama-Pryor agenda has been bad for them and has increased costs of health care coverage, made it harder to find a job, and driven up the price of everything from gasoline to groceries. Tom Cotton will be a senator who listens to all Arkansans, not one who simply rubber-stamps President Obama’s agenda.”