What is Riding With Rodney & Where’s He Going? [Podcast Episode 1, blog version]

STEVE GRAPPE: Hi, y’all. Welcome aboard. My name is Steve Grappe. I’m with Stand Up Arkansas and the Rural Caucus. And today, we’re here with Congressional candidate Rodney Govens out of Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District. Hi, Rodney. How you doing today? 

RODNEY GOVENS: Another beautiful day in paradise. How are you doing, man? 

STEVE: I’m doing great. I’m glad to have you here. Let’s talk about Riding With Rodney. You have a new program y’all are going to launch here in the next week or so, I understand. Give me the basics of what this program is about.

RODNEY: So we’ve got a lot of character around Arkansas and the rural areas. And people seem to forget that, right? We start talking at these high levels about issues and problems and taxes and everything, but people forget about the character. And the cultural differences — growing up in Elaine, Arkansas is vastly different than growing up in Mountain Home.

RODNEY: And we need to celebrate that! We need to celebrate our uniqueness; what makes us all Arkansans also makes us different, and we need to celebrate those characteristics and stories. We don’t spend enough time on that. So that’s what Riding With Rodney is actually going to do.

RODNEY: We’re actually going to ride around and look at and learn about each town and city across the 1st District, and learn what historically significant locations each has, what culturally significant places each has. I want to know about every single nook and cranny in every town. I want to know what makes Elaine so special. I want to know what makes Craighead County special.

I want to know what makes Lonoke County so unique, especially from the agricultural perspective. I want to know everything about Chicot County that I can learn. 

STEVE: So this is like that riding around with celebrities or celebrities in cars or whatever that is that Jerry Seinfeld had, but we’re bringing this local?

RODNEY: With a lot less fanfare, cause if this is the mug that you’re going to get, we’re going to be struggling. But yeah it’s a similar premise, except a lot less jokes, more stories from locals and more serious topics. We’re still going to be a little bit lighthearted.

STEVE: Tell me about where y’all been so far in the district. I know you’ve been at this for about six or eight weeks, maybe. Tell me where y’all been. 

RODNEY: Man, we’ve been to 10-plus counties, 20-plus cities, like Helena-West Helena, Elaine, Eudora, Lake Village, Star City, Harrison multiple times. And of course we’ve been to Jonesboro several times already. We’ve got a laundry list of places that we’re going to be visiting across these 31 counties.

STEVE: So when can we expect to see Riding with Rodney dash cam tours and how often is it coming out? Give us some details about as viewers, what we can expect. 

RODNEY: We’re expecting to ramp up to weekly content, where viewers can ride along with me when I get a local tour of a city or town — so a new narrator every single video, because we want to be able to hear from someone who lives there what makes them care about their town.

I want the citizens of Harrison to watch this and see what makes Elaine, Arkansas so special. I want the people in Eudora to see that we share a lot of issues across the gambit. 

STEVE: So you’re also trying to create some synergy and some interconnectedness within the district between your cities and towns, so people can be more aware of their neighbors. Is that what I’m hearing? 

RODNEY: 1,000% and it’s two-fold. Number 1: It’s hard for me to empathize with the Buffalo National River situation if I don’t know anything about it and I’m not exposed to it, and I live in extreme southeast Arkansas. 

RODNEY: Number 2: This is a listening tour. Too often, we’ve got legislators, we’ve got politicians that talk at us. They effectively tell us what we should and shouldn’t care about. It should actually be the reverse, right? It should be, we have issues specific to Arkansas that my Congressional representatives should care more about than some of the issues they have over in Arizona. We have some of the same issues across every geographical area in this country, but there are specific issues that voters want to talk to their Representative about that don’t have anything to do with some of the national hot-button topics, and our current Congressman is impossible to talk to — he doesn’t even come home.

STEVE: We appreciate what you’re doing. What if somebody wants to sign up? Do you have a specific means to say, hey, I want to drive around Sherwood and tell you about where I grew up? I know that’s not the 1st Congressional District, someone might be in Humnoke or Possum Grape or Paragould, Pocahontas. Osceola, Trumann. 

RODNEY: I can name a whole bunch of towns I’d love to know more about. Oh yeah. To get in touch with us, email us at hello@RodneyForCongress.org and tell me, “Hey, I want to do this with you. I want to tell you exactly why my area is so special to me and why you should care about this area just as much as I do.”

STEVE: Man, this is a wonderful thing. I cannot wait to see these videos. Can’t wait to see all the different places around Arkansas. And the 1st District and the Delta is often forgotten. So this will also serve to bring some attention to that area of the state.

RODNEY: That’s right. And this is the biggest geographical district in Arkansas when you start looking at how much land it covers. You’re talking about 31 counties all the way from Boone, all the way over to the West Memphis area, all the way down to Chicot County with Lake village and Eudora.

RODNEY: That’s a lot of land to cover. I need to be able to explain to the citizens of Eudora, why you need to care about the Buffalo National River, because it may not be the river that you care about, but I bet you care about government overreach. 

STEVE: We’ll be looking forward to Riding With Rodney audio podcasts and dash cam videos coming soon from the campaign. RodneyForCongress.org. Thanks for being here today. 

There are no winners in war!

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A reminder why we DON`T want to re elect Rick Crawford!

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- Rodney Govens via Ballotpedia
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-Rodney Govens via Ballotpedia.

#ridingwithrodney #arkansas #elections2024 #rodneyforcongress #arpx

I`m honored to have earned the recommendation of the Arkansas Education Association for the 2024 General Election.

In Congress, I pledge to work for more public education resources; including funding to safeguard schools and students from cyber and physical threats, and better opportunities for rural schools that are the lifeblood of their local communities.

Serious about public education? With your donation of just $5 or $25 today, I can win this race!

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Rodney Govens via Ballotpedia

"There are no winners in war."

#ridingwithrodney #arpx #arkansas #elections2024 #rodneyforcongress

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