story and info compiled by Aric Mitchell
Editor’s note: Of the 32 legislative districts in the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas, 15 are contested in the Nov. 6 general election. During the next few days, The City Wire will profile each contested race. Link here for information on the House and Senate districts in the two regions, and the associated candidates.
The race for Arkansas House of Representatives District 75 pits Steve Breedlove (D) and Charlotte Douglas (R) in a contest that, for Douglas, will focus on jobs and "out of control" growth of state government.
Douglas said she was concerned about "defeating Obamacare while ﬁnding ways to strengthen Medicare and private Insurance," adding that she would not support expansion of Arkansas's Medicaid program using federal dollars as part of the new federal healthcare law. Douglas said senior citizens "are already having beneﬁts cut and services rationed."
These responses were part of a survey conducted by The City Wire in anticipation of the 15 contested state legislative races. Candidates were asked about the top issues in their district, legislative goals for the next term and why each believes they are the right candidate for the position. They were also asked to answer “Yes,” “No,” or “Don’t Know” to a range of issues likely to surface in the 2013-2014 General Assembly.
Douglas's full, unedited responses are below. Breedlove did not respond to the questionnaire.
• What are the top issues in your district?
As I go door to door and visit with constituents from Turner Community in the north of my district to Greenwood in the south, the resounding concerns are JOBS and the out of control growth of Arkansas state government that has led to fraud and abuse. Obamacare is also a concern as our Senior Citizens are already having beneﬁts cut and services rationed. Many citizens mention Finishing I-49 across the river and deepening the river channel which will be integral to bringing jobs and boosting our economy.
• What are your legislative goals for your next term if elected?
My goals Include working to make Arkansas more competitive with tax reform and ﬁghting for deregulation that has strangled our businesses. This will lead to industry coming back to Arkansas. As a lifelong educator I will seek ways to partner education with business to ensure that Arkansans are ready to ﬁll jobs that we recruit to our state. I attend RITA and Chaffee Authority meetings to make sure I am aware of work that needs to be done on a state level to complete these projects. Defeating Obamacare while finding ways to strengthen Medicare and private Insurance is a concern as well. I will stand strong for Christian values that have made our nation exceptional. Working to strengthen our 2nd Amendment rights will also be on my agenda.
• Why do you think you are the best person to represent your district?
My election will bring a commitment to really listen to the constituents from Turner, Lavaca, Dyer, Central City, Greenwood, Mulberry, Kibler and areas around Alma. I have worked over the past 15 months to develop relationships in all of these areas. I will bring accessibility and accountability to this position. Strong indications are that Republicans will be in control In the Arkansas legislature and I will be in the best position to work to bring improvements back to the businesses, veterans, Seniors, schools and families of District 75.
YES-NO-DON’T KNOW RESPONSE - Douglas
Each candidate was asked to provide a yes, no or don’t know response to the following four questions. Anything other than one of the three responses was not accepted.
• If budget conditions allow, would you vote for renewal of the Quick Action Closing Fund?
• Are you for the Nov. 6 ballot item that would raise the Arkansas sales tax rate by a half-cent (0.5%) to fund more than $1.8 billion in Arkansas road improvements during the next 10 years?
• Would you support tougher ethics laws for Arkansas Legislators?
• Would you support expansion of Arkansas’s Medicaid program using federal dollars as part of the new federal healthcare law?