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These are stories related to the 2022 election.

Democrat in Arkansas' Fourth District Congressional debate says Trump won 2020 election

Arkansas PBS U.S. Congressional District 4 debate between Gregory Maxwell, Bruce Westerman and John White on Mon., Oct. 17. Courtesy Arkansas PBS YouTube Channel.

Two of the three candidates running in the U.S. Congressional District 4 race think Joe Biden is the elected president of the United States, and the Democrat in the race believes former President Donald Trump won.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, squared off in a debate on Arkansas PBS on Monday (Oct. 17) with his opponents John White, D-Stephens, and Gregory Maxwell, L-Dover.

When asked about Biden’s legitimacy, Westerman said he voted to certify the election results. He did sign the Texas amicus brief which called into question, without evidence, election results in a handful of states. When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the brief, the incumbent said he considered it a closed matter.

“Joe Biden is the president of the United States. Unfortunately, he’s been the president for the last two years,” he said.

White scoffed at the notion that Biden had been elected. Other officials should have questioned the results, even though no meaningful election fraud has ever been proven in court. He later added that other than Trump, the only president who was legitimately elected was John F. Kennedy.

“I don’t believe Joe Biden got more votes than Obama,” he said.

Maxwell said he believes Biden won the election. He quickly pivoted, noting that some of the problems during the last election had to do with the media and polls. Voter identification is something that could help maintain election integrity, he said.

“I don’t believe in polls. They’re skewed by the mainstream media,” he said.

Westerman and White said they agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade that ended federal protections for women seeking an abortion. The two said they think it’s a states’ rights issue.

Ending 50 years of precedent has had unintentional consequences, Maxwell said. Women are typically blamed for abortions, but men play an equal role, he said. He didn’t directly say whether he supported or opposed the decision.

White and Maxwell agreed with Biden’s decision to commute sentences for those convicted of marijuana related offenses. Maxwell said he hopes states will follow the same path and it could provide relief for the prison system.

“It’s Biden’s shining light,” he said.

“Might as well make it legal,” White said. He later noted that it should be taxed and he would like to see cigarette taxes reduced because he is a smoker.

Westerman didn’t agree with the decision. He said he thinks that federal marijuana convictions should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. He said the federal government should be more focused on other drugs, such as fentanyl. The incumbent said he doesn’t support the recreational marijuana amendment.

None of the candidates gave definitive answers about the causes for inflation. White said he blamed the creation of the central bank and said the government prints too much money. Maxwell said inflation only began after the Democrats seized power in Washington D.C. Westerman blamed Biden and also noted that inflation was being driven in large part by spikes in energy costs.

After the debate, the Democratic Party of Arkansas released a statement concerning White’s comments about Biden’s legitimacy and presumably other answers.

“Earlier today, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress District 4 made numerous statements inconsistent with our Party’s positions. The Party does not endorse the candidate’s stated positions. While the Democratic Party did not recruit John White to run, we honor the access to the ballot that is fundamental to American democracy and thank Mr. White for his military service to our country,” said DPA Chairman Grant Tennille.

George Jared is a reporter for Talk Business & Politics.