Ken Aden is challenging the incumbent in Arkansas' Third Congressional District, running a race to end hunger, and while doing so pulled a woman to safety after a car wreck.
Ken Aden, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Congress against Republican incumbent Steve Womack, and is in the midst of his "Run 2 End Hunger II, a 253-mile run which will be completed by the candidate in seven days between April 28 and May 5 to raise awareness of hunger, food insecurity, and poverty in Arkansas’ Third Congressional District."
On Day 3 of the run, April 30, I received a press release from Aden's press secretary, Janey Peugh, indicating that Aden "pulled a young woman from her flipped car today in Harrison, AR."
In a follow-up e-mail interview with Peugh, I asked her for more details about the accident and Aden's response. "The accident took place 5 miles outside of Harrison, AR, right across from Hanook Tires on Brutty Lane," Peugh said. "It was a single-vehicle accident, with the vehicle ending up in the ditch, due to the rain and water on the highway."
Peugh said, "Ken saw the incident take place a few miles ahead of him. Acting on his former Army Staff Sargeant training, he ran to aid and assist the occupants. Ken Aden, Jake Burris (Aden's Campaign Manager), and an unidentified man assisted during the incident."
Courtesy ADEN 4 CONGRESS
Ken Aden underneath wrecked vehicle working to pull driver to safety. April 30, 2012
According to The Courier, Arkansas State Police (ASP) indicated that "Christin Cantwell, 33, from Dog Patch, lost control of her car after experiencing a medical emergency and struck a curb, flipping her vehicle."
"There were about 4 to 5 bystanders," Peugh said, "but Ken was the one who proceeded to get underneath the car and pull the trapped woman out."
"Aden crawled into the car and pulled Cantwell to safety," reports The Courier. "Cantwell suffered lacerations to her face, torso and arms." The Arkansas State Police and EMS arrived on the scene but "Cantwell refused medical treatment."
Aden's bloody knees were, according to Blue Arkansas, the result of Aden "cutting himself on glass in the process" of getting "the lady out."
Courtesy ADEN 4 CONGRESS
Ken Aden after pulling woman from flipped car and arrival of EMS. April 30, 2012
I asked Peugh what Aden's actions here would tell people about how he would serve them in Congress, and she referred the question to Aden who had this to say, "I think it is not relevant to how I would legislate, (although I feel I would obviously advocate for the working men and women of this district a lot more than our current representative.) This was not a heroic act, that is just silly. It is called being a good neighbor, and it is something that any other person would have done."
It's unlikely that, at the start of this run, Aden would have envisioned himself underneath a wrecked car pulling a potential constituent to safety. Aden actions did, however, demonstrate what Down with Tyranny said of him - "He's a tough as nails progressive running in the reddest district in Arkansas."
At the Ken Aden for Congress website, readers will find that "Run 2 End Hunger II" is about securing pledges of "canned foods to help the hungry in Northwest Arkansas." The "II" refers to a previous effort by Aden. "While serving as the director of an Arkansas non-profit, Aden completed a similar race in 2010, raising more than 7,500 cans of food for residents in the Arkansas Delta," the site states.
While Down with Tyranny cannot accept cans of food through the mail, Aden's efforts are being supported in another way. The site states, "For every person who makes a contribution through this page for Ken's campaign, you will be entered in a random drawing to win a guitar signed by every member of Filter as a 'thank you' from Blue America." The guitar is a black Squier Telecaster.
Courtesy of ADEN 4 CONGRESS
Ken Aden holding map outlining 253 miles of "Run 2 End Hunger II" effort.
The tagline at the Ken Aden for Congress site reads "People First, Politics Last." In order to be in a position to put people first as an elected official, Aden knows that he must emerge as the winner in the run to be Arkansas' U.S. Representative from the Third Congressional District. As such, according to Peugh, Aden took the opportunity to say that he "is the only choice for the working men and women of the 3rd District. The other guy is actively trying to gut Medicare and Medicaid, gamble with people's Social Security, and wishes to raise taxes on the middle and lower class. The sum, of which, will be given to the millionaires in this state. There has never been a more stark contrast between two candidates in Arkansas. Womack has made his money of the backs of the working people of this state, without giving them anything in return."
Residents of Arkansas' Third Congressional District will decide in November whether to continue with incumbent Steve Womack or elect Ken Aden to serve them. It seems that two questions residents of Northwest Arkansas need to answer for themselves are: Who would be the best neighbor? And, who will best serve all of the people in the Third District?