Both Elected as Delegates to Republican National Convention
As long as time exists, history will be made. From the moon landing, to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and to the 2016 landslide victory of Donald Trump, there has always been a milestone to define a generation. Such a landmark was placed in Arkansas bridging two generations; not only making history for their state’s party, but for the Republican National Convention (RNC) as a whole.
In late June the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) State Committee met to select the remaining 25 delegates and 25 alternates who would represent the state party at the RNC in Jacksonville, FL, this August. Among the names was Linda Dyson, who along with her grandson, Darren Ray Waddles, waited patiently in the audience for the results.
Dyson had been a delegate candidate in the past, but unfortunately did not place delegate or alternate in 2016 for Rubio, and failed to place in the Second Congressional District Convention this May. Nonetheless, that did not stop Linda, who serves as the First Vice-President of the North Pulaski Republican Women’s (NPRW) Club, from pressing on.
Her grandson, who is the current Chairman of the Stone County Republican Committee, was elected as a RNC delegate back in May, at the First Congressional District Convention, and served as an at-large Rubio delegate in 2016. Soon after his victory, he joined on as the manager of his grandmother’s campaign. “She might not have received enough votes to place in the Second District, but I’m going to see to it that she will be one of the 25 at-large delegates at state,” Waddles declared.
Together they launched a dynamic campaign reaching out to various legislators, committee members, and party affiliates; gathering numerous endorsements; and engaging with voters in multiple mediums. “My grandson showed me new ways of connecting with people I would have never thought of,” Dyson remarked, “he has been a great help, and I’m excited to see what happens.”
After all the hard work, the votes were cast, and the results were in. The room was silent as the lists of delegates were being read; then in just two words, “Linda Dyson,” history was made. Her landmark victory that morning formed the first ever Grandmother-grandson duo to serve together as delegates for Arkansas and to the RNC.
The pair will serve as part of a diverse delegation of 40 delegates and 37 Alternates, each hailing from different terrains and representations of “The Natural State.”
Dyson, 68, from Jacksonville, AR, is a retired entrepreneur and multi-award winning top furniture sales-representative, who blazed the trail for women of her profession. Though a life-long Republican, she became actively involved in grassroots campaigning in 2014; allowing her to serve her party by electing conservatives, running as a candidate herself, and helping her fellow Republican Women across central Arkansas. She is ecstatic for the opportunity to be part of the 2020 RNC, ensuring President Trump another four years in the White House, and to serve alongside her grandson. She will also serve alongside NPRW member State Rep. Karilyn Brown, and associate-members State Sen. Mark Johnson and John Parke.
Prior to the National Convention, Linda will celebrate her fiftieth year of marriage to her husband Charles Dyson Jr.
Waddles, 27, is a school teacher from Mountain View, AR. Darren has served the RPA in many capacities since joining his County Committee in 2011. He has been a grassroots volunteer across the state; State College Republican Chairman; affiliate member of NPRW and the African American Coalition of Arkansas; staffer to RPA and legislators, executive board member of the RPA and 1st Congressional District; member of committees in the Arkansas Department of Education and RPA Platform Committee; and serves currently as Secretary of the Arkansas Young Republicans.
There is an apparent excitement among the Arkansas Federation of Republican Women and RPA alike, upon this historic election. Likewise, more history will be made as this grandmother-grandson duo cast their vote in nomination of President Donald J. Trump.