Businesswoman and civic leader Supha Xayprasith-Mays (pronounced Sai-Pri-Sith-Maze) will seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022. She announced her intentions to run Friday (March 26).
“I am running for governor of the great state of Arkansas because I cannot stand on the sidelines while so many Arkansans – and their families – are struggling. Arkansas ranks 48th in household income and, as a result, too many of our children are going to bed hungry. Jobs have been lost along with our sense of optimism,” said Xayprasith-Mays.
She said her campaign will focus on inclusion, education, healthcare, and empowerment.
If elected, she plans to expand Arkansas’ technology centers, specifically focusing on industries related to artificial intelligence and universal broadband for all of Arkansas. She said she will champion efforts to develop a green technology manufacturing corridor in Arkansas that will set the example for the nation.
“Public service is about helping people live their best lives. I will make a promise today that I will always put our people first,” said Xayprasith-Mays.
Xayprasith-Mays arrived with her family in Northwest Arkansas from Southeast Asia at the age of six. She arrived with her widowed mother and three sisters who had fled communist oppression in her native country of Laos. Her late mother, who was fluent in seven languages and had a master’s degree in education, took a job in the assembly line at Tyson Foods at minimum wage to support her family.
Xayprasith-Mays’ career led her to the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, where she rose through the ranks to eventually manage and supervise store operations generating more than $100 million annually.
She left Walmart to establish a career as an entrepreneur in multiple business sectors including publishing, business consulting, retail, restaurants, television networks, oil exploration in North Dakota, career empowerment seminars, and several other business interests. As a result of her entrepreneurial experiences, she believes free enterprise and capitalism are the surest paths for the eradication of poverty.
“My experiences at Walmart taught me that Arkansas has limitless talent among its people; what we need is a government that works with both business and ordinary citizens to prepare Arkansas to take its rightful place as a national economic leader,” said Xayprasith-Mays.
Xayprasith-Mays, 51, is married to former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Mays Sr. She is a mother of four children and has four adult stepchildren with Mays. She lives in Little Rock where her company publishes INCLUSION magazine. She hosts youth and women empowerment seminars and conferences throughout the state.
“I will work, tirelessly, to bring a better tomorrow for Arkansans. And I want to give back to a state that has given me, and my family, so much,” said Xayprasith-Mays.
James “Rus” Russell has also announced for the Democratic nomination for governor as has Anthony Bland, who ran for Lt. Governor in 2018. Republicans Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have also declared their candidacies for the GOP nomination. The political primaries will be held in May 2022.