2022 Elections

2022 Elections

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Group seeks to overturn Arkansas’ new district map
KUAR, Daniel BreenOctober 15, 2021 (Short)

Activists are seeking to overturn Arkansas’ newly-drawn congressional district map through a procedure known as a popular veto.

The group Arkansans for a Unified Natural State says it is beginning the process of collecting signatures to prevent the new map from going into effect.

The group’s Kwami Abdul-Bey says, once the state legislature formally adjourns, they have 90 days to collect 54,000 signatures from at least 15 Arkansas counties to overturn the legislation.

“Other rights, even the most basic, are illusionary if the right to vote is undermined. And we believe that the way that these maps were drawn, the right to vote and vote for the candidate of your choice, has been undermined in Pulaski County, particularly in southeast Pulaski County which is a predominantly non-white population of voters,” Abdul-Bey said.

Abdul-Bey says he also expects legal challenges to the new congressional district map, which was approved by the legislature last week. Lawmakers gave final approval to two identical versions of the same redrawn map, which now await Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s signature.

The map has drawn criticism for splitting Pulaski County into three separate districts, splitting minority communities into Republican-leaning districts that extend far outside central Arkansas. Abdul-Bey says he believes Republicans in the legislature drew the map to diminish the voting power of minority communities.

“It was done [intentionally,] and the impact, if we do not get these maps undone, the impact can be very lasting because we’re going to have to deal with the ramifications of this map for the next 10 years,” Abdul-Bey said.

Arkansas Democrats Enter Races For Lt. Governor, 2nd Congressional District
KUAR, TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS STAFFSeptember 9, 2021 (Short)

Two Democrats announced their candidacies for office on Thursday.

Kelly Krout of Lowell said she would vie for the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Lt. Governor. Krout, a mother of seven kids and a children’s book author, said she’s entering the race to advocate for families and kids.

“I’m a lifelong Arkansan, and my family has lived in Northwest Arkansas for 17 years. My experience as a foster mom has shown me the challenges that so many in Arkansas face. I want our state to be a safe place for all Arkansas families and children,” Krout said.

Krout, who was defeated for a House seat in 2020, will be a guest on Sunday’s Talk Business & Politics statewide TV program, which also airs on KUAR Monday at 6 p.m.

There are no other announced Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor; however, five Republican candidates have announced for the post. They include: Chris Bequette, Dr. Greg Bledsoe, Sen. Jason Rapert, Doyle Webb, and Joseph Wood.

Also on Thursday, Dr. Quintessa Hathaway announced she would seek the Democratic nomination for the Second Congressional District seat currently held by GOP Rep. French Hill. One other Democrat, Nick Cartwright, has also announced for the post.

Hathaway is a veteran educator and founder/CEO of Q. Hathaway and Associates, LLC.

She previously ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in Tennessee. In addition, she has volunteered on several political campaigns for candidates and conducted voter registration throughout the South.

Hathaway is a graduate of The Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree. She went on to graduate from Tennessee State University with a Master of Education (M.Ed.), Specialist in Education (Ed.S.), and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).

She said she wants to focus on education, voter registration and economic competitiveness in her campaign.

Arkansas Term Limits Files Lawsuit Against Voter Petitioner Limits
KUAR News, Steve BrawnerMay 28, 2021 (Short)

Arkansas Term Limits and other plaintiffs filed suit Friday in the federal Eastern District of Arkansas to overturn a new state law that limits who can gather signatures for citizen-led constitutional amendments and other initiatives.

Act 951 by Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, and Rep. Michelle Gray, R-Melbourne, limits paid petitioners to state residents, which Arkansas Term Limits said in a press release is not required for any other political job or for petitions used to gather signatures for candidates to run. It passed with an emergency measure.

The ban applies to gathering signatures for citizen-led constitutional amendments; initiatives, which have the force of law; and referenda, which allow voters to rescind a law passed by the state Legislature.

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