GOP to host 4th District debate Thursday

The Jefferson County Republican Committee will host a debate during its Lincoln Dinner at the Pine Bluff Country Club Thursday. The event begins with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Tom Cotton, John Cowart and Beth Anne Rankin, GOP candidates for 4th District congressman, will debate. Larry Fugate, a retired editor from The Commercial, will moderate the 30 minute debate.

First District Congressman Rick Crawford will be the keynote speaker. The eastern part of Jefferson County is now in the First Congressional District and the remainder in the Fourth District.

Participants will also include former Congressman Ed Bethune, state Rep. District 10 candidate Charles Roberts, District 15 candidate Ken Bragg, County Judge candidate Ted Harden, and Justice of the Peace District 8 candidate Roy Agee and former county chairman Steve Lux and wife Sherry. County Chairman Peter Smykla promises to keep speeches short.

Reception/dinner tickets are $100; dinner tickets $40, and a table for eight (reception and dinner) $500. Obtain reservations or more information by email to or call (870) 247-1177 and pay at the door. The public is invited.