The election for Arkansas 2022 is coming up soon, but you are not exactly sure what these positions are that you are voting on. You know what the positions are by name. You know some of the names of those that are running for that position, but a lot of people do not know what these positions do.
In this short blog series, Arkansas PBS is going to bridge the gap so that Arkansas citizens have a quick reference to know who and what they are voting for before they get to the polls. To kick off this blog, the positions and candidates that will be discussed are the U.S. Congress and Senate.
The biggest function of the representatives of the United States Congress is to make laws. An individual congressman or congresswoman will propose bills to the House of Representatives in a process that begins with the representative and their staff writing the bill they want to introduce. Then it will be brought to one of the committees to review. Once it is approved by the committee the House will come together to discuss and vote on whether it should be brought before the Senate.
The role of the members of congress is not limited to just originating bills. They are also tasked with studying the cost and effects of bills and propose any amendments. When voting on bills, they must vote based on the bill’s merit and the views of the people they are representing. Another role that members of congress are tasked with is to be the representing voice for the people of their home district.
In total there are 435 members of the House of Representatives. The number of districts and representatives per state is based off the state’s population. Arkansas has four congressional district representatives. To be elected to the House of Representatives, a candidate must be at least 25 years old, a United States citizen for at least seven years and an inhabitant of the state he or she aims to represent.
· Rick Crawford (R) Incumbent: Crawford served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. After completing his military service, he attended Arkansas State University and graduated in 1996 with a degree in agriculture business and economics.
· Monte Hodges (D): Hodges is Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Southern Bancorp. He served nine years in the U.S. military and is currently serving his fifth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
· Quintessa Hathaway (D): Dr. Hathaway is the founder, chief executive officer, and lead consultant of Q. Hathaway & Associates, LLC. Hathaway is a published author, writer, poet and has an active research agenda and manuscripts in the publication process.
· French Hill (R) Incumbent: Hill served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Corporate Finance from 1989 until 1991. Prior to his congressional service, he was founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Delta Trust & Banking Corp.
· Michael White (L)
· Michael Kalagias (L): Kalagias served in the U.S. Navy from 1992 to 1997. He earned his bachelor’s in political science from Wayland Baptist University in 1990 and worked a public-school teacher.
· Lauren Mallett-Hays (D): Mallett-Hays is a speech-language pathologist. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in business administration, and a master’s from the University of North Texas.
· Steve Womack (R) Incumbent: Womack is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University and former mayor of Rogers, Arkansas. He retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard in 2009 at the rank of colonel with more than 30 years of service.
· Gregory Maxwell (L): Maxwell has a B.S. in philosophy. His career experience includes owning Silver Eagle Event Center and working independent film producer and script writer and a corps administrator with the Salvation Army.
· Bruce Westerman (R) Incumbent: Westerman graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering and a master’s degree in forestry from Yale University. For more than 22 years, he worked in engineering and forestry at Mid-South Engineering in Hot Springs.
· John White (D)
The senate has three important duties. Senators are charged with conducting the impeachment process of high federal officials. They play a role in the confirmation or denial of certain position appointments such as ambassadors and judicial court justices. They also have voting power on bills, resolutions, amendments and treaties.
In total there are 100 members of the U.S. Senate. There are two senators for every state. To be in the senate you must be 30 years old, a citizen of the United States for nine years, and at the time be a resident of the state they are aiming to represent. Senators serve for six-year terms and elections to the senate are staggered over even years so that only about one-third of the senate is up for reelection during any election.
· John Boozman (R) Incumbent: Boozman graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and co-founded Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic in Rogers. While practicing optometry, he established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind.
· Kenneth Cates (L): Cates served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. Since then, he became a firefighter and paramedic as well as working on a critical care helicopter as a flight paramedic.
· Natalie James (D): James started her career as a realtor in 2015. In 2020 she was appointed to the City of Little Rock Land Bank Commission. In 2021, the president of the Little Rock Branch of the NAACP appointed James to serve as chair of the Branch Political Action Committee.