The closest thing to a local filing surprise in the Arkansas legislative field was Doris Tate’s announcement that she will challenge Rep. Stephanie Malone, R-Fort Smith, for the House District 77 seat.
Malone, the niece of U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., seeks re-election to her third and final term in the office. Arkansas’ term-limit law restricts House members to three, two-year terms. Malone is employed by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.
Tate served 20 years as Sebastian County Clerk, and retired in 2010. She unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary in 2010 for Arkansas Secretary of State.
Tate now works as the executive director of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, and also serves on the boards of the League of Women Voters and the Fort Smith Girls Shelter. She is a member of Greenwood Rotary Club, Focus on Greenwood, Vice Chair of the Sebastian County Democratic Central Committee, and Treasurer of the Sebastian County Democratic Women's Organization.
“My experience can help focus Fort Smith and Arkansas on moving forward, creating jobs, balancing the budget and strengthening our education system,” Tate noted in a campaign statement. “We must move the focus to results and outcomes from politics and posturing. That’s why I’m running for the State House.” (See Tate's complete statement at the end of this report.)
AREA DISTRICT FILINGS
Following are the filings in House Districts representing the Fort Smith area.
House District 21 (parts of Garland, Montgomery, Perry, Polk, Sebastian, Scott and Yell counties)
Rep. Terry Rice, Republican
House District 74 (parts of Logan, Scott and Sebastian Counties):
Rep. Jon Eubanks, Republican
Daniel Wall, Democrat
House District 75 (parts of Crawford and Sebastian Counties):
Steven Breedlove, Democrat
Charlotte Douglas, Republican
House District 76 (part of Sebastian County):
Rep. Denny Altes, Republican
Mat Pitsch, Republican
House District 77 (part of Sebastian County):
Rep. Stephanie Malone, Republican
Doris Tate, Democrat
House District 78 (part of Sebastian County):
George McGill, Democrat
House District 79 (part of Crawford County):
Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh, Republican
House District 80 (parts of Crawford and Washington Counties):
Terry Bibbs, Republican
Charlene Fite, Republican
Jack Norton, Democrat
House District 81 (parts of Crawford and Washington Counties):
Wolf Grulkey, Democrat
Rep. Justin Harris, Republican
Lisa France Norris, Republican
House District 82 (parts of Franklin, Logan and Madison Counties):
Bill Gossage, Republican
Rep. Leslee Milam Post, Democrat
STATEMENT FROM DORIS TATE
FORT SMITH, AR (March 1, 2012) – Former Sebastian County Clerk Doris Tate announced her campaign for the Arkansas State House today, filing for House District 77 at the State Capitol in Little Rock.
Tate was elected Sebastian County Clerk in 1990 where she served until retirement in 2010. She has a record of results-driven leadership, having overseen two Sebastian County Courthouses in Ft. Smith and Greenwood and served five years as President of the Arkansas Association of County Clerks. Her 20-year service as Sebastian County Clerk is the longest in the county’s history.
“Service to the residents of our communities has been the entire focus of my career. It’s critical that the voices we have representing us in Little Rock are attuned to our needs,” said Tate. “More importantly, that they can translate what they hear into action and results for Fort Smith and the region.”
Tate currently serves as the Executive Director of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the boards of the League of Women Voters and the Fort Smith Girls Shelter. She is a member of Greenwood Rotary Club, Focus on Greenwood, Vice Chair of the Sebastian County Democratic Central Committee, and Treasurer of the Sebastian County Democratic Women's Organization.
“My experience can help focus Fort Smith and Arkansas on moving forward, creating jobs, balancing the budget and strengthening our education system,” Tate continued. “We must move the focus to results and outcomes from politics and posturing. That’s why I’m running for the State House.”
Tate attended Connors Junior College in Warner, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Since moving to Sebastian County in 1975, Tate has watched two daughters attend Greenwood Schools and obtain education through Arkansas colleges.
“Jobs and economic development will be my highest priority in the legislature. I understand the role of both small businesses and large employers in our region’s economy and I will use that experience to grow the number of jobs and economic opportunities for our communities,” Tate added.