Republican Don Pierce announced he will be a candidate for House District 22, the seat currently held by embattled Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs.
Pierce previously sought the nomination in the 2018 election and has since been appointed to the Arkansas Physical Therapy Board by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
“I am running for the future of Garland County. I have spent the last 36 years in education trying to impact the future and now the future is here,” Pierce said. “I have enjoyed serving my community locally, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the state of Arkansas. As a state representative, I would like to spend my time in office working to improve public education and school safety. As a lifelong educator, I believe I can contribute great insight on our public education systems and help create policy to further advance our children’s educational opportunities.”
“Along with educational advancements, I want to work on creating safer environments for our children to attend school. The only concern children and parents should have each day at school is academic success. I would also like to focus on creating jobs and bringing industry here to Garland County. This community has a lot to offer, and I believe that with improvements to public safety, jobs and industry, and public schools the future will be bright for Garland County, giving today’s adolescence an advantage for tomorrow,” Pierce added.
Gates has declined to step down from his House seat despite his plea agreement with prosecutors to repay back taxes he owed to the state of Arkansas. House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, has set an Oct. 11 date for the Arkansas House of Representatives to caucus to consider expelling Gates from membership.
Pierce, an administrator at Lakeside Schools for the past 15 years, did not address Gates’ situation in his announcement. Pierce has also worked as a teacher and coach at Jessieville Schools for 18 years and spent the first three years of his career at the former Stamps Schools.
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