Republican Gary Campbell of Fort Smith is spreading the word that he’s planning a run for Arkansas House of Representatives in District 64. The seat is currently held by GOP first-termer Stephanie Malone, setting us up for another primary race.
Campbell’s full news release at jump.
Political Veteran Announces Candidacy
Campbell to Run for State Representative
FORT SMITH, AR (December 10, 2009) – Gary Campbell, a veteran of Fort Smith public service, has announced his Republican candidacy for the position of State Representative, District 64, an area between Rogers Avenue and I-540 from 58th street to the Oklahoma border. The primary election for the seat will be contested on May 18, 2010.
“I’ve been encouraged by many friends to do this for several years. This is the right time. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I can make a difference representing residents of western Arkansas,” said Campbell. “My experience and service in civic, youth and municipal organizations has placed me at ground zero for local and regional issues. Working at the State Legislative level, I’ll be able to affect legislation that directly assists Fort Smith in its community development and its economic development. That will equate to improvements and jobs for this area.”
“Gary has cultivated working relationships in Fort Smith, Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock and throughout the country,” said fellow City Director Don Hutchings. “He’s exactly what Fort Smith needs in a state legislator; energetic, respected, accessible, focused, intelligent and knowledgeable. Everything he’ll do will start and end with Fort Smith’s best interests.”
Campbell is serving in his fourth term on the Fort Smith Board of Directors and has been elected Vice Mayor five times by fellow Board Members. Locally he has served in leadership roles as Chairman of the Planning Commission, President of the Boy Scout Council and Scoutmaster where he coached over 35 young men to their Eagle Scout Achievement. On seven occasions, he organized and trekked with scouts in the rugged mountains of Philmont Scout Ranch hiking over 500 miles of high altitude trails. He was appointed to the 2008 Legislative Task Force for the 21st Century Economy and in 2009 was appointed to the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, one of three state economic development agencies.
Currently Campbell is serving as President of the Arkansas Municipal League, the first person from Fort Smith in 48 years to serve an organization that Fort Smith helped found. Recently, he was the first person from Fort Smith to be elected to the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities where he has served as Vice-Chair of NLC’s Community and Economic Development Steering Committee. Throughout his service, he has showcased Fort Smith by bringing state and national groups here for meetings. For several years, he has volunteered in a state wide organization which works to raise Arkansas’ per capita to the national average and provide additional funding without raising taxes.
“The Arkansas Municipal League is an amazing forum. It represents Arkansas’ 500 communities as their official representative at the legislature and provides a training venue for municipal officials. At any given point, I can talk with any city from across the state about topics that are relevant to Fort Smith. Those relationships are crucial to making changes at the state level and will serve to benefit Fort Smith,” said Campbell.
Campbell retired early from IBM Corporation and operates a successful management consulting practice. His hands-on economic development experience has come through his work with the City of Fort Smith and his personal Chamber of Commerce involvement. Gary estimates that in his role as a civic and community leader, he has directly participated in the recruiting and/or retention of over 750 jobs for this area with an estimated $300M of plant investment.
Gary has strong Christian values and is an active member of First Methodist Church. His conservative viewpoint will guide his votes in the legislature as he represents the best interests of the District 64 citizens. He and his wife Jo Ann, long-time residents of Fort Smith have three sons who graduated with honors from Fort Smith schools.