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Candidates for Arkansas' 2nd Congressional seat: Conrad Reynolds

Douglas Coulter
Conrad Reynolds campaign
Like many Republicans in primary elections nationwide, Conrad Reynolds is invoking former President Donald Trump.

Conrad Reynolds, a U.S. military veteran, is hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. French Hill in this month's Republican primary. Following KUAR's interview with Hill, we spoke with Reynolds as part of a series of interviews with candidates in the May 24 primary election.

KUAR News: Could you introduce yourself and why you're running for the Republican nomination?

I grew up in Arkansas, I lived in different towns, but I went to high school in Batesville, my father was an Arkansas State policeman. And so I went to college at UCA, and I spent 29 years in the military as an Army Intelligence Officer protecting our country fighting in three wars. So I'm, I'm privileged to be an American and privileged to live in Arkansas. And that's it. I'm running because I think that we need to change in Congress. And I think it's time for Mr. Hill to retire.

What are the key issues to you in this race?

I don't like the way that Mr. Hill has voted recently. In the last couple of years, for example, he voted for the Jan. 6 Commission. That's nothing more than a witch hunt against President Trump. I think it's a stab in the back to President Trump and his administration. And I think the people of Arkansas don't appreciate it. And I think that they don't agree with that. Additionally, he's voted for several other things too like a vaccine national database.

Staying on the election, on your website, you said Congressman French Hill, doesn't believe the 2020 election was stolen? What do you think he should have done regarding President Joe Biden certification?

I think he should have done what Congressman Rick Crawford did. Rick Crawford voted to not certify to give it a couple of weeks to see what Arizona actually had to say, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the other states. I think that we should have given it more time, because, look, in my mind, there's no question this election was stolen.

Staying on the Bipartisan Commission, one of the Republicans that also supported it was Liz Cheney. And we saw House leadership make her step down. Do you think that was the right move, or would you have pushed back against leadership wanting her to step down for that?

Representative Cheney is an embarrassment to the conservative Republican Party. She's an embarrassment and she should resign.

The biggest issue for many people in the state and in this district is inflation. What do you feel is the best way to address this?

To cut spending, that's where we really got to make the difference. You know, just about every time that there was a not every time just about every time they had to raise the debt limit French Hill was right in line to raise the debt limit.

So just to clarify with the debt limit, would you be against raising regardless of which party needs it raised?

Well, you got to cut spending. The problem is every time what the mantra is, if we don't increase the debt limit, we default on our debt. And we can't default on our debt because then the credit in good standing of America would go down the drain. That's what they claim. Unfortunately, it's one of these things where they keep voting more and more, spending more and more spinning.

And moving on to health care. One of the concerns for many Arkansas health officials is paying for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for the uninsured, if the federal government doesn't cover it. In future budgets and spending, is that something you would push for or approve of? 

Well, I think that there's everything that needs to be looked at on how we're going to deal with the vaccines. So they first off on the vaccines that they have right now are proven to be ineffective. I mean, if it just looks study after study after study. So you know, the whole issue about the vaccines, we could spend another hour on that I don't choose to. I will just tell you this, that every program in the federal government needs to be relooked at and we need to cut it down. We simply cannot continue living with a trillion dollar deficit every year for the next 10 to 20 years.

If elected, what kind of legislation would you pursue for Historically Black Colleges and Universities since the district does have a few and is there anything you think Congress could do to prevent harassment we've seen to those universities we've seen like the bomb threats are made against them last year?

Well, the bomb threats and things like that are unacceptable and should be punished. Anybody who does something like that, regardless of what school it's at. I don't agree with that. And so you know, I'm a big supporter of law enforcement. My son's a DC policeman, my father was an Arkansas State policeman, I believe, and I support the blue 1,000%. And, and, you know, that's where I stand with law enforcement. And I think that as far as black colleges are concerned, of course, I think that we need to make sure that they're fully funded. And I think President Trump did a great job by fully funding them for that, I think the next 10 years. So, you know, we need to do more but yes, I support any college that is in need, but what I don’t support is some of the things that they teach.

Ronak Patel is a reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.
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