The Morning News
Gray To Challenge Lincoln For Senate Seat
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for brief clips of John Gray talking about his reasons to run for the Senate on Saturday Sunday September 26, 2009.
By Dan Craft
THE MORNING NEWS
WEST FORK — Don Quixote lives in Greenland, and the windmill he's tilting at is the U.S. Senate.
John Gray announced Monday he'll seek the Green Party nomination to challenge Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.
"Do I think I can really win? Not against $5 million. That's just realism talking," Gray said. "What this really is is a bully pulpit to get some ideas out there. I know I'm the guy sitting on the horse with a pot on his head, but it's important that we start talking about some of these issues that aren't really out there right now."
Gray, 66, worked with the Atomic Energy Commission before becoming an anti-nuclear activist. He also spent more than a decade in quality control with several auto manufacturers, helping set up plants in Mexico. Now, he wants the United States to withdraw from the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement, and bring jobs back to the U.S.
Bringing back jobs and reining in corporate excesses are Gray's main two issues. He proposes changing the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to limit some of the corporate protections.
"I feel this country is in more danger of failing right now than at maybe any other point in our history," Gray said. "I'd like to see personal rights apply only to 'natural' people, not the mega-corporations that have caused so much of this recent trouble."
His campaign slogan, "Resist Corporate Rule of America," is based on that principle, he said.
Gray joins a field that already has several announced Republican candidates and several possible others. Lincoln also faces a Democratic challenger in the primary race.
Winning is a long shot, acknowledged Gray, whose current office as mayor of Greenland is his only political experience.
Long shots, though, are something he learned about first-hand not long ago. Gray had to be airlifted to a hospital after a motorcycle wreck near Jasper sent him down a rock-filled ravine. After the experience, he's a fan of both second chances and helmet laws. "I feel like I've been given a reprieve," Gray said. "When I'm presented with an opportunity to make a difference these days, I have a hard time saying no."
Education: Bachelor's degrees in physics and math, University of Arkansas; master's degree in physics, University of Arkansas, 1968
Occupation: Semi-retired. Mayor of Greenland. Previous employment with the Atomic Energy Commission in physics research. Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corp., parts quality control.
Family: Divorced. Two children, four grandchildren.
Source: Staff Report