Lt. Gov. Mark Darr: "Why I'm for Romney"

I want to thank the Saline Courier for inviting me to write for them. I look forward to many discussions with you all about my opinions on various topics. Just a little about myself for those of you who don’t know me - I’m a small business owner, the husband of a school teacher, and a father of two great kids. As I complete my first year in elected office as your 15th Lieutenant Governor, I could not be more proud to be an Arkansan.
This week I’d like to explain why I chose to endorse Governor Mitt Romney for President.
Although I have not been in this business for that long I have learned some tough life lessons. I hope that I would have the courage to stand up against a Washington D.C. that threatens the very existence of our country.
In early October, at a speech I gave at the Governor’s Mansion, I publicly endorsed Governor Mitt Romney to be our next President. I was the first elected Arkansan to do so and since then there have only been a handful to follow. Fox News wasn’t there. To my knowledge, the national media wasn’t waiting on the Lt. Governor of Arkansas to run to the presses, but it was my statement. Over the next few days, I took criticism for this endorsement.
Things would have been a whole lot easier for an Arkansas Republican if former Governor Huckabee had decided to run for President. It would have been understood that I (or any Arkansas politician) would tend to support him. Let me say that I still believe that Governor Huckabee would be our next President had he decided to run, but that is not the case now.
Some of us across the country had the good fortune to meet many of the frontrunners earlier in 2011. Though we had good visits and they seemed like principled men, I didn’t see them winning the election in 2012. I didn’t question their motives for running but questioned their electability. After deciding to support Governor Romney, I was going to keep it silent. Knowing others might not agree, why put myself out there politically? Well, I ran to be different, to tell you what I thought without looking at a poll or seeing if it were popular. I did so because you deserve to know what your leaders are thinking, even if it costs them their job.
Governor Romney is prepared to be president. He is the best candidate with the soundest judgment to lead our country. He is the only candidate that has the organization and monetary capital that will be necessary to make Barack Obama a one-term president. He knows what it takes to run a national campaign. Throughout every debate, he has remained steady and speaks knowledgeably about the issues we are facing.
Our country is at stake. Four more years of President Obama threatens not just my kids’ future but my own as well. It threatens my businesses’ future.
Governor Romney has shown leadership in the private sector and will promote job growth by reducing taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. He will seek to increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility. He will repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs.
As for foreign policy, I believe Governor Romney would be a decisive commander-in-chief, putting our nation’s interests first, while showing strong support for Israel and our allies.
Finally, Governor Romney is a family man. He and his wife Ann have raised five sons, who are all successful. When she was diagnosed with M.S. in 1998 and subsequently underwent surgery and radiation treatments to fight breast cancer, he was devoted to helping her through those difficult times.
Governor Romney loves this country and has the strength to lead it. My vote in our primary will be for Governor Romney.