As he did in August 2016, Governor Asa Hutchinson made another visit to downtown Hope’s Tailgaters restaurant, meeting a lunch hour crowd.

As he did in August 2016, Governor Asa Hutchinson made another visit to downtown Hope’s Tailgaters restaurant, meeting a lunch hour crowd.
Prior to his afternoon engagement at the Veteran’s Office dedication, Hutchinson and his entourage of advisors and state policemen walked into the waiting line during a packed house.
This time, there was a bit of anticipation of Hutchinson’s arrival as several local public officials and local political operatives, among them Ed Darling, Sara Darling, Cherry Stewart, Blake Montgomery and State Senator Larry Teague were already in the house.  
A regional “County Judge’s table,” enjoyed lunch in advance of Hutchinson’s arrival and featured Haskell Morse (Hempstead County), Danny Ormand (Lafayette County), Kelly Brookfield (Little River County), Mike Cranford (Little River County) and Mike Rowe (Lafayette County) with visits from State Representatives Deanne Vaught (Dist. 4) and Danny Watson (Dist. 3) and State Senator Larry Teague.
Hempstead County Library Director Courtney McNiel and her party, including her husband Eric, and Brandon and Kacey Barrington, saw Hutchinson up close and personal as he dropped by their table for a chat.
“How are things going here in Hope and Hempstead County?” Hutchinson asked.
“Everything is all good,” said McNiel’s group, to which Hutchinson replied, “Now I like that. You’re my kind of crowd.”
Afterwards, McNiel said, “It was all very unexpected and very exciting.  I mean, how often do you have the Governor of Arkansas coming by your table at lunch for a chat?”
“And he just came over, shook our hands, said hello and was just a down-to-earth regular kind of guy,” she said.
James Brown, another diner from Hope, said “I walked in here and wondered what all the excitement was about, and everyone was saying ‘the Governor’ was in the house; I looked up and there he was, offering to shake my hand.”
Also eating lunch was Hempstead County GOP Chair Sara Darling, who got to chat with Hutchinson with her husband, Ed.
“It is always good to see him here in Hope; I just told him that I appreciated the good job he was doing,” she said.
Tailgaters owner Sharon Caldwell said that Hutchinson changed his order this year; last year, Hutchinson sampled the Reuben with fries, but Monday, he opted for a Nathan’s Slaw Dog and a chicken wrap.
“He told me that he wanted to try something different,” Caldwell said.