Political newcomer Ben Gilmore, a 28-year-old who lives with his dad, really thinks he has this in the bag.

On September 17, Gilmore submitted his resignation as communication director for the lieutenant governor’s office. He must be feeling pretty confident in his bid to claim Senate District 26 from the long-serving Democratic incumbent.

But why is Gilmore leaving his tax-payer-funded, Little Rock-based job now? Why didn’t he bow out when he launched his run against Sen. Eddie Cheatham last fall? We can’t help but wonder: did he really live in Crossett but drive back to work in Little Rock all this time?

Sen. Cheatham’s brand of moderate leadership is under attack by Gilmore and his paid gun, big brother Jon Gilmore.

Jon Gilmore runs Gilmore Strategies, the newest and nastiest of the right-wing lobbying and consulting groups making fortunes by bringing D.C.-style swamp politics and smear campaigns to Arkansas at any moral cost. So far, Ben Gilmore has already sent more than $60,000 in campaign donations from Crossett up to big brother in Little Rock to cover consultant fees and such. Win, lose or draw, at least the Gilmore family is making good money out of this run for office.

Has Ben Gilmore been campaigning in South Arkansas while collecting a taxpayer-funded check from his Little Rock-based job? Some of his social media posts appear to show him playing politics while he should have been on the clock.

Gilmore Strategies is working for a slew of Republican candidates in this election cycle. The best way to identify Gilmore-backed candidates is by the toxic mailers with which they’re spamming mailboxes across the state. You’ve likely seen some of Gilmore Strategy Group’s work attacking well-respected Democrats for passing the same Republican-sponsored, Asa-backed bills that the Gilmore clan all supported, but are now twisting to use as political weapons.

The Gilmore political machine is throwing mud and expecting some of it will stick. We can’t help but hope the dishonesty and manipulation will splash right back on them. 

But we digress. 

Voter records show that Gilmore moved back home to Crossett from Pulaski County on March 19, 2019, roughly a year before the March 3, 2020, primary he won to secure a spot on the Nov. 3 ballot.

While he’s a political newcomer, Gilmore has the enviable confidence of a young, untested, unqualified 20-something dude. Enough confidence to quit his day job because he thinks his family connections make him a shoe-in.

Don’t worry too much about Ben, though. If it doesn’t work out, remember, he lives rent-free with his dad.