LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 6, 2014) – Over 400 candidates tossed their respective names in the ring vying to become an elected official in Arkansas. The primary election is scheduled for May 20, with the general election being held on November 4.
The 2014 ballot includes four congressional seats, the governor’s office, plus six constitutional offices, three state Supreme Court seats, 100 state House seats and 18 state Senate seats.
The Republican Party of Arkansas continues to push forward, as 133 Republican candidates filed for office this year, a new state record for the party. In the state legislature, Republicans have 3 Senate Districts with primaries, while Democrats have none. There will be 18 House District primaries, four of which will be on the Democratic ticket.
In the Arkansas Senate, there are 18 Senate seats on the ballot this year; 11 of which are held by Republicans and seven by Democrats. 11 of the Senate incumbents are unopposed – six Republicans and five Democrats. Today, in the 35 member Senate, there are 22 Republicans and 13 Democrats.
In the Arkansas House of Representatives, all 100 House seats are on the ballot this year. There are 51 unopposed House candidates on the ballot – 27 Republicans and 24 Democrats. The 49 contested House seats include 25 held by Republicans, 23 held by Democrats and one by a Green Party member.
Throughout the election cycle, inVeritas will provide a look at the candidates for the Arkansas Legislature. A quick glance of several Republicans running for the House of Representatives:
Alan Pogue, R – District 41
Alan Pogue is running for House District 41 – Representative Jim Nickels’ seat. Alan is a minister, counselor, small business owner, and educator.
Alan is licensed by the State of Arkansas as both a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Professional Counselor. He has over 20 years’ experience. Alan earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harding University in Searcy, as well as a Masters in Human Relations and a Doctor of Philosophy in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Oklahoma. Alan also holds a specialty licenses from the State of Arkansas in Supervision and in Technology Assisted Counseling and Supervision. He also holds the National Certified Counselor and Distance Certified Counselor designations from the National Board of Certified Counselors. In addition, Alan is an adjunct instructor for John Brown University, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Harding University, Friends University, Butler County Community College and Pulaski Technical College.
For more information on Alan Pogue, click here.
Darlene Byrd, R – District 43
Darlene Byrd is running for House District 43 – Speaker Davy Carter’s seat. Dr. Darlene Byrd has 24 years of experience in nursing, and is sole proprietor of APN HealthCare.
Darlene Byrd holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Nursing Science from UAMS, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She was appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and served one term as president. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt also appointed her to the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services. Darlene has worked with state legislators, and the Arkansas Department of Health, on a variety of healthcare efforts.
For more information on Darlene Bryd, click here.
Charles Blake, D – District 36
Charles Blake is running for House District 36 – Representative Darrin Williams’ seat. Charles Blake is a lifelong resident of District 36 and is the son of educators. He is a graduate of Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and Little Rock Central High School.
Charles is currently the President of CenArk Transportation LLC, a full service transportation company which specializes in non-emergency medical Transportation of patients. Prior to that he served as Director of Advancement, Director of Finance and Operations, and was a member of the founding administration team of Little Rock Preparatory Academy. Charles was also appointed by the Mayor and Board of Directors of the City of Little Rock to serve as an at- large member of the Little Rock Citizen’s Evaluation of New Tax Committee (LR CENT). He was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to serve a four year term on the Daisy Gatson Bates Holiday Committee. Charles is a long time board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arkansas and is a board member for the Southside Main Street (SOMA) neighborhood.
For more information on Charles Blake, click here.
Lucas Roebuck, R-District 87
Lucas Roebuck is running for House District 87 – Representative Jonathan Barnett’s seat. Lucas was born in Redondo Beach, California and is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is one of six brothers.
He received his bachelor’s degree from John Brown University and later received his master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. After graduating, Lucas worked for nearly a decade as a journalist and was the Opinion Page Editor for the Benton County Daily Record, Assignment Editor for KNWA-NBC, and Managing Editor for both the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Siloam Springs Herald-Leader. Lucas served as a professor and taught journalism, communications and English at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho and at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon before returning to Arkansas to work for John Brown University as Director of University Communications.
For more information on Lucas Roebuck, click here.
Mike Whitmore, R – District 90
Mike Whitmore is running for House District 90 – Representative Skip Carnine’s seat. Mike was born in Germany and moved to Springdale when he was in third grade. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College. He worked as an accounting consultant and co-owned a pet supplies business before returning to school to receive a Master of Accountancy from the University of Arkansas. Upon graduation, Mike taught accounting for two years at the University of Arkansas, before continuing his accounting career.
For more information on Mike Whitmore, click here.
Grant Hodges, R – District 96
Grant Hodges is running for House District 96 – Representative Duncan Baird’s seat. Grant, 22, is a recent graduate from the University of Arkansas, where he majored in Political Science. Grant worked with Congressmen John Boozman and Steve Womack. In 2012, he successfully managed Randy Alexander’s campaign for state representative.
For more information on Grant Hodges, click here.
Robin Lundstrum, R – District 87
Robin Lundstrum is running for House District 87 – Representative Jonathan Barnett’s seat. Robin is a small business owner and a member of the Elm Springs City Council. Robin received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, as well as a master’s and doctorate in education.
Robin is a former assistant professor at John Brown University and served as Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas.
For more information on Robin Lundstrum, click here.
Jana Della Rosa, R – District 90
Jana Della Rosa is running for House District 90 – Representative Skip Carnine’s seat. Jana was born and raised in Springdale, and graduated from Springdale High School. She attended the University of Arkansas, where she graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.
In 2002, Jana joined the Bentonville-based Walmart Team for Church and Dwight Co., Inc., a $2.6B CPG company headquartered in New Jersey. During her 10-year tenure, she was promoted from an entry-level Sales Analyst position to the company’s top National Account Manager, responsible for all laundry product sales to Walmart.
Jana currently serves on the Board of Directors of Conservative Arkansas, a grassroots organization dedicated to identifying, electing, and holding accountable conservative candidates at both the state and national levels. She is also a member of the Benton County Republican Committee and the Benton County Republican Women.
For more information on Jana Della Rosa, click here.
Mickey Gates, R – District 22
Mickey Gates is running for House District 22 – Representative Bruce Westerman’s seat. Mickey is the President of Stonebridge Collection – located in Hot Springs. Stonebridge Collection custom engraves its own knifes to the customer’s specifications. Mickey also served as Justice of the Peace in Garland County.
For more information on Mickey Gates, click here.
Donald Laymon, R – District 22
Donald Laymon is running for House District 22 – Representative Bruce Westerman’s seat. Donald was born in Heber Springs and raised in Little Rock, but now resides in Hot Springs Village. He, like his opponent, served as Justice of the Peace. Donald is a financial advisor and serves in ministry as an evangelist with the Assemblies of God. He is also a former secretary of the Garland County Republican Party.
For more information on Donald Laymon, click here.
Lance Eaves, R – District 46
Lance Eaves is running for House District 46 – Representative Mark Biviano’s seat. Although born in Conway, Les spent his early years growing up in Newport, where his father started the family business, Delta Trailers. Les later moved to Arlington, Texas where he attended high school and college at the University of Texas, Arlington. He then moved back to Arkansas to begin a career working with his father at the family business that began in 1971. Les now serves as the Vice President of Delta Manufacturing, Inc. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers)
For more information on Les Eaves, click here.
Marge Wolf, R – District 94
Marge Wolf is running for House District 94 – Representative Debra Hobbs’ seat. Marge is one of six children. Marge is the President and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and serves as the City Alderman for Ward 2 in Rogers. For 8 years, Marge served as the Chief Executive Officer for Main Street Rogers and 13 years as Chief Executive Officer for the Rogers-Lowell United Way. In 2012, she served as President of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Association.
For more information on Marge Wolf, click here.
Damon Wallace, R – District 96
Damon Wallace is running for House District 96 – Representative Duncan Baird’s seat. Damon is a single dad with two adult daughters. Damon is an EMT, Paramedic, and a Respiratory Therapy Technician. He is also a Registered Respiratory Therapist and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Damon served twenty-one years in the healthcare industry and now as a business owner. In 2003, he started investing in rental property and bought the first of his two automotive shops in 2008.
For more information on Damon Wallace, click here.
Kyle Reeves, R – District 46
Kyle Reeves is running for House District 46 – Representative Mark Biviano’s seat. Kyle has lived in Arkansas since the 1980s, where he received his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree from Harding University. Kyle worked in the telecommunications industry, where he was a 3-time Emmy nominee for his work in TV and he built the first “All Digital” LPTV station in the United States. He now works in the natural gas business as a small business owner.
For more information on Kyle Reeves, click here.
Mat Pitsch, R – District 76
Mat Pitsch is running for House District 76 – Representative Denny Altes’ seat. Mat was born in Buffalo, Wyoming. He received his A.A. in Engineering from Hutchinson Community College, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering Management. Pitsch began his career with the Whirlpool Corporation in 1987 and was then named the CEO/President of McCourt Manufacturing. In 2001, he joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, where he was ultimately the Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology. In 2007, Pitsch took on the role of Economic Developer for the Greater Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.
In 2009, Pitsch was asked to head up the Western Arkansas – RITA. Western Arkansas – RITA represents the citizens of Sebastian and Crawford counties, and the Fort Smith and Van Buren municipalities.
For more information on Mat Pitsch, click here.
Jeremy Ross, D – District 19
Jeremy is running for House District 19 – Representative Nate Steel’s seat. Jeremy was raised by a single mother with help from his grandparents. Jeremy is a graduate of Arkadelphia High School and received his undergraduate degree in Public Administration from Henderson State University. He is a small business owner and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance. He is also President-Elect of the Chamber of Commerce.
Jeremy previously served as the Chairman of the Ambassador Committee for the Chamber and as a volunteer fireman for the Hollywood Fire Department
For more information on Jeremy Ross, click here.
Trent Eilts, R – District 14
Trent Eilts is running for House District 14 – Representative Walls McCrary’s seat. Trent is a Locomotive Foreman General at Union Pacific. For 13 years, he was a Product Specialist for Eastman Kodak Document Imaging Division for US, Canada and Mexico. In 1990, he joined the Air Force. He is on the Deacon Board of Mcarthur Church, a member of Lonoke County Fair and Livestock Association, Lonoke County Coalition for Progress, and the local American Legion.
For more information on Trent Eilts, click here.