Candidate Intro: Tom Cotton

As we get closer to ElectionDay we continue to help you get to know the candidates running in Arkansas'sbiggest races.

Tom Cotton calls himself amainstream, commonsense, conservative, but his background is far from typical.

Tom Cotton's career hastaken him thousands of miles from his hometown of Dardanelle, but he claims hisunlikely path to become the republican congressional candidate began on a Septemberday more than ten years ago.

"I was in my last year in law school when the9/11 attacks happened, and I wanted to go fight for our country after thatbecause I feel America had been knocked back on its heels. And we needed newleaders who were willing to do their part," said Cotton.

So after a few years ofprivate practice, Cotton became an army ranger officer and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's out of the military now but says he'sdecided to serve his country in another important crisis.

"Now I think there's asense that America's a little bit knocked back on their heels as well becausewe've had a stagnant economy. We've got so much debt and we need a newgeneration of leaders who will step up and make some tough choices," saidCotton.

Cotton believes he shouldbe part of that new generation of leaders. The republican calls himself a true conservative who plans on helping torepeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, and cut the deficit.

"I think anyone who'slooked at the federal government's budget in any detail knows that there is alot of fat in the budget -- there's a lot of stuff that we could cut," saidCotton.

Cotton's campaign hasraised around $2 million -- far more than his opponents-- and some critics havepointed out that most of the money has come from out of state. But Cotton saysno one can influence the way he'll vote.

"Whether a donor is from Arkansas,or from outside the state, I don't owe anyone anything when it comes to themoney they've given me or the time they've invested in my campaign," saidCotton.

On Thursday Justin Lewiswill introduce you to Cotton's democratic opponent -- State Senator Gene Jeffress.