The legislative political domino is underway in the Fort Smith metro, with attorney Kelly Procter-Pierce announcing she will run as a Republican for the House District 76 seat.
Rep. Mat Pitsch, R-Fort Smith, now holds the seat, but he announced May 16 his intent to run for the District 8 Senate seat occupied by fellow Republican Sen. Jake Files. The general election for that seat is in November 2018. Files, who has said he will not seek re-election, served two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives (1999 – 2003) and was first elected to the Senate in 2011. He is chair of the influential Senate Revenue and Tax Committee.
Procter-Pierce is running on a small government platform.
“I want to serve in the House of Representatives to be a voice for common sense, less government and less regulation thereby, promoting a business-conducive environment and more opportunities for individuals in the Fort Smith area,” said Procter-Pierce.
Procter-Pierce holds an undergraduate degree, a juris doctorate and a master’s degree in law from the University of Arkansas. She is also a mediator certified by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission in civil and probate matters. She has more than 20 years of legal work and owns her own firm. Prior to owning her firm she was an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Appeals Division for the Arkansas Attorney General’s office and served as a law clerk for Judge John Jennings at the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
She also is a board member and volunteer attorney for The Center for Arkansas Legal Services, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals. Procter-Pierce also serves as state committeewoman for the Sebastian County Republican Committee and the corresponding secretary for the Sebastian County Republican Women.
Procter-Pierce and her husband, James have been married for 21 years and reside in Fort Smith.
“For more than five generations, the families of both my husband and myself have lived and worked in this area. I am committed to investing in my district and working hard to ensure that our community is one where people want to live, work and play. I am a conservative that believes in limited government and the rule of law. I will fight to protect our freedom and the rights of individuals.”
In addition to a name change for the District 76 seat, the District 75 seat will also change.
Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R-Alma, recently announced she would not seek another term to the House District 75 seat. Her first two-year term in the Arkansas House was 2013. Douglas said she is considering other political options, including a run for a state senate seat.
“What a hard decision to make but I felt God nudging me on. I have another 18 months to complete my last term and plan to finish strong. Thanks for the support and encouragement I have had from Family, friends and constituents. It is my honor to serve in this capacity,” Douglas noted on her Facebook page.
Following are other House and Senate seats, and the occupants, in or connected to the Fort Smith metro.
House District 21, Rep. Marcus Richmond, R-Harvey
House District 74, Rep. Jon Eubanks, R-Paris
House District 77, Rep. Justin Boyd, R-Fort Smith
House District 78, Rep. George McGill, D-Fort Smith
House District 79, Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh, R-Van Buren
House District 80, Rep. Charlene Fite, R-Van Buren
House District 81, Rep. Bruce Coleman, R-Mountainburg
House District 82, Rep. Sarah Capp, R-Ozark
Senate District 4, Sen. Uvalde Lindsey, D-Fayetteville
Senate District 5, Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest
Senate District 6, Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch
Senate District 9, Sen. Terry Rice, R-Waldron