Little Rock native and small business owner Natalie James announced Monday (June 14) she will seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Should James secure the nomination, she would likely take on two-term U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., or one of his announced primary opponents – Michael Deel, Heath Loftis or Jan Morgan. Democrats Jack Foster and Dan Whitfield have declared for their party’s nomination.
James is kicking off her campaign with a nine-city tour across the state this week starting Monday in Little Rock. In attendance at her announcement were State Rep. Vivian Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, and attorney and Little Rock Reverend Evelyn Moorehead. She received endorsements from state legislators Rep. Jay Richardson, D-Fort Smith, and Rep. Denise Ennett, D-Little Rock.
“Today, as a mother, a small business owner, and as an Arkansan who believes we deserve better, I’m announcing my candidacy for the Democratic nomination to be Arkansas’ next United States Senator. I launch this campaign to restore the promise of the American Dream to all Arkansans and all Americans,” James said.
James grew up in Little Rock. Her mother, Charolette, was a teacher and her father, Roy, was a small business owner and preacher. She attended the University of Arkansas and by 2015 was working as a realtor. In 2020, she was appointed to the Little Rock Land Commission.
“We have faced turbulent times, and we have overcome them, not by drowning out our neighbors or closing off our hearts, ears, and minds, but by realizing that having our differences in opinion does not mean we cannot find common ground to get things done and make progress for all. I refuse to believe that Arkansas isn’t worth fighting for, and I refuse to believe that we ought to sit on the sidelines and wait for another political cycle.”
No other Democrats have announced for the U.S. Senate in the 2022 cycle.
Incumbent Sen. Boozman recently polled low in a Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey. Among 535 Arkansas voters, Boozman had a 30% job approval rating compared to 38.5% who disapproved and 31.5% who had no opinion.