Members of the Washington County Republican Committee expressed shock at the death of former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith of Pocahontas, considered a friend to the Washington County committee and to some of its individual members.
“Linda, you will be dearly missed, my friend! I will never forget how hard you worked on my Senate campaign,” Sharon Lloyd posted on Facebook. State Rep. Robin Lundstrom called Collins- Smith “a fearless conservative warrior and loyal friend to so many.”
Elected to the Arkansas House as a Democrat in 2010, Collins-Smith switched parties in 2011, representing District 80 until her 2014 election to Senate District 19. She lost a re-election bid in the 2018 primary.
About a year ago, she spoke at a meeting of the Washington County Republican Women about the repercussions of changing parties after being elected as a Democrat. Concerning the switch, Collins-Smith was known for using a line made famous by Ronald Reagan: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”
Committee Chairman Jim Wilson said: “We’re all saddened and shocked at her passing.”
Authorities are investigating the June 4 discovery of her death by gunshot.