This is an archived endorsement from the 2016 elections.

REELECT Representative David Whitaker to Arkansas House District 85

In the race for state representative District 85, we endorse incumbent David Whitaker over his challenger Dwight Gonazales. District 85 includes parts of south Fayetteville, Farmington and much of the western and southern parts of Washington county. Like so many other races this year, why replace an incumbent who is doing a great job? But, more than that, David’s is textbook Fayettechill. After serving as a linguist in the US Air Force, he came here and earned his law degree from the U of A. Rep. Whitaker went on to coordinate the Washington County Domestic Violence Task Force from 1999-2000. In 2001, David chaired the committee that rewrote Fayetteville's Tree Ordinance, prior to being appointed Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fayetteville. He only resigned in 2009 to run for public office. He has represented our district since 2013 and we hope he will continue to do so.

David answered For Fayetteville’s questionnaire in great detail that showed his passion for our region and its people. You can read it in his own words, but here's the highlights:
  • Make high quality, public pre-kindergarten available to every child in Arkansas.
  • Provide paid family leave for every worker.
  • Adopt Universal Voter Registration
David communicates regularly with constituents via phone, email, text message and social media. He is the best choice for continued, progressive policy and our voice in Little Rock, now more than ever. His opponent, Republican Dwight Gonzales, does not impress us with his meager online presence and limited availability to the people he wants to represent. He's running on vague idea of family, lower income taxes, and reducing regulations but does not back these ideas with specifics we can count on. District 85 is part of the booming NWA region and deserves someone who will fight for it's needs in Little Rock. Vote for David Whitaker because has demonstrated that he will do that; his opponent has not.  All in all, it’s a simple choice.

ELECT Irvin Camacho to Arkansas House District 89 (E. Springdale)
For our friends and neighbors just to the north, we are pleased to endorse Irvin Camacho for State Representative as the clear choice for District 89. Irvin is the son of immigrants. Social justice is in his blood. In 2015, inspired by a string of shootings across the country, Mr. Camacho organized a Peace Walk that brought nearly 900 people from all walks of life to participate in an important reminder of what is important to the people of Springdale.

Irvin has also dedicated countless hours to registering first time voters in the Hispanic and Marshallese communities. He has dedicated his campaign to reaching out to members of his community who are often over looked and has vowed to work for equal and fair pay for a day’s work, protecting immigrant families and expanding health care access. His opponent, Jeff Williams, thinks nothing of sending out mass mailings featuring a wall and a statement that he will oppose illegal immigrants saying, “…illegal immigrants make our country unsafe. Drug cartels and terrorists pose a threat to our way of life” and promises that, if elected he will “…fight to ensure that illegal immigrants are not given state services or drivers licenses”. Williams clearly cannot in any way represent the diverse groups of citizens in his district; Camacho has proven that he can.

Irvin's vision for Springdale will make them great neighbors for Fayetteville. We need more folks in Little Rock like our own Greg Leding and David Whitaker. Irvin will add to the chorus of voices that advocate for our NWA values. Our Fayetteville supporters may not get to vote for him, but we hope Springdale will.

VOTE FOR Issue #1 - County Office Term Length

There are several issues before voters this November.  The first one extends the term of most county offices from the current two-year term to a four-year term.  As it stands, our county administrative officials take office and have only about 11 months before they have to file for their party’s primary to get re-elected.  They spend more than half of their time in office running for office instead of doing the job that we elect them for.  This issue will not affect the terms of Justices of the Peace (the legislators of the county), who will continue to run for two-year terms.  A vote FOR Issue #1 will allow our county staff to conduct business without the constant cost of turnover at the top levels.

VOTE FOR Issue #2 - Powers of Governor and Lt. Governor

Issue #2 allows the Governor to retain official authority when he’s out of the state. In the age of cellphones and the internet, this is long overdue.  Arkansas has fabled stories of rogue Lt. Governors signing laws and changing the locks on the office door when the Governor leaves on state business.  This issue recognizes that interstate travel is part of the modern role of Governor and keeps authority in the hands of the person elected to hold it.  Vote FOR Issue #2 (and maybe next election we can cut the antiquated position of Lt. Governor altogether).

VOTE AGAINST Issue #3 - Eliminates Caps on Gov't Debt; Changes the Rules for Bonds are Issued

Issue #3 takes away most of the restrictions on government bonds (debt). We like the idea of flexibility, but some reasonable protections are a good thing.  We trust our current local officials to not mess things up. But this would change the law statewide and who knows who will be in office in four or eight years.  This issue has been called "welfare for the wealthy" by the Arkansas Times, and it's opposed by Rep. Whitaker.  Vote NO on Issue #3 until a safer version comes along.