Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Filing Day

ShannonNewtonShannon Newton
President, ATA

Over the next year, we will see hundreds of elements of the 2024 election season play out in real time. We’ll watch campaign commercials until we’re seeing red (or blue). We’ll receive fundraising emails and political mailers. We’ll watch or avoid the debates. We’ll see candidates bow out and primary results posted. We’ll endure awkward holiday conversations or maybe offer heartfelt support to a candidate or cause. Then finally, we’ll conclude with the final task of making selections with a stylus on ballots next November.

All of that starts with the filing period, where candidates officially request their names to appear on the ballot.

It’s like the Rube Goldberg machines you see in cartoons or movies—the contraptions that turn some ordinary event into a series of a bunch of small steps carried out by simple machines. Pull this string that flips the cup that drops the marble down the ramp and rolls into an epic domino formation, and when the final domino falls, it lands on the button that turns all the lights on. It’s something you could do without a bunch of levers flipping, wheels turning, but the machine makes the work a performance to behold. The point of a Rube Goldberg machine is the spectacle, to make some banal task fun to watch.

Election season doesn’t always feel fun to watch, but it is a type of Rube Goldberg machine. It’s a chain reaction that we need to work even when all the little steps feel overengineered and unnecessary.

On Nov. 6, the first day of filing, more than 200 candidates pulled the string that got their campaigns rolling.

All 100 seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives come up for election every two years. More than half of the 35 state Senate seats will also be up for election. Voters will learn new names and recall familiar ones.  Choices will be offered for the state’s Supreme Court, dozens of district-level justice positions and a variety of Constitutional amendments. 

Our incumbent Congressmen will have opponents. The presidential primaries will be of particular interest with an Arkansan in the race and a whole host of others who make a case for someone other than former President Trump winning his legal battles and returning to office.

It may seem like mere paperwork for candidates to file, but it’s the move that sets things in motion. Candidates lined up in the Capitol rotunda. Secretary of State John Thurston’s voice echoed through the marble halls as he addressed everyone.  It’s a bit of pomp and circumstance with a color guard and party photo ops. Reporters gave candidates their first opportunities to address media with their ambitions, platforms and hopefulness.

Despite the ways that rhetoric can get heated, that good policies can fail over technicalities, and people just get plain burnt out on politics, citizens continue to step up and put their name on a ballot to fulfill a public service. Their willingness to serve, to aspire to make a difference, to sacrifice their own time, energy and resources, in hopes that they may contribute to an improvement in their communities, our state, the conditions of industry, economy or education is admirable.  This moment, the first one, is the most hopeful. It’s the machine that keeps working as we prepare to watch the dominos fall and the lights come on.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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