Republican Bart Hester announced today that he will seek the State Senate seat in the newly created Arkansas District 1, composed primarily of Bentonville. Hester is the second Republican to announce for the race meaning he will face Rep. Tim Summers in the primary.
"I believe the people of District 1 are looking for new leadership with bold ideas," Hester said, "As a State Senator, my goals will be simple: encourage job creation and small business growth by lowering the tax burden and reforming the tax code, work to slow the growth of government spending and regulation, and protect the lives of the unborn."
According to his press release, Hester is a successful entrepreneur and small business owner with over a decade of experience in real estate construction, development, and sales in Northwest Arkansas. He is a licensed contractor and a licensed real estate agent.
“As a small business owner, I understand what it’s like to build a business and create jobs. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen the many ways that taxes and regulations can make life difficult for small business owners," Hester said, "My focus will be on freeing families and businesses from excessive taxation, spending, and regulation, so that we can continue to make Northwest Arkansas a great place to live, work, and build a business."
The primary could shape up to be an interesting match up and will likely decide who will represent the district in this safe Republican region of the state.
Conservative groups have been critical of Summers as a moderate Republican who sometimes votes with Democrats on key issue in the legislature.
Summers was in fact a Democrat before switching parties to run against Vickey Boozman in 2008. Some observers believe the district – which was drawn up mainly by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe – was done so in a way that favored Summers. In addition, Summers is in tight with the Walmart crowd, which have a huge impact on politics in Bentonville.
This one could be interesting.