Sen. Tracy Steele to Run for House District 39 Seat

State Sen. Tracy Steele, a term-limited Democrat, sends word that he’ll run for the Arkansas House of Representatives in District 39. The seat is currently held by first-term Democratic Rep. Richard Carroll. (Carroll was elected as a Green Party representative in 2008 but changed his party affiliation in April of this year.) So chalk up another primary contest.

Steele’s full release is at the jump.

While we’re on the subject, although posting has been sporadic here at The Arkansas Project lately (What’s that, you’re feeling neglected? OK, OK, I promise, this weekend we’ll go out for a nice steak dinner, just you and me. Now let’s see that million-dollar smile, huh? That’s my girl!), I’ve been regularly updating our candidate lists for 2010, so check ’em out if you haven’t looked in a while. (And many thanks to all of you who have written in to share names we didn’t have and to point out my boneheaded errors that needed correcting.)

Senator Tracy Steele Seeks to Continue Service to North Little Rock

Run for State House District 39 will be about leadership, history of service

NORTH LITTLE ROCK—State Senator Tracy Steele announced, Monday, that he will seek election to a final term in the Arkansas House of Representatives.  Before his election to the State Senate in 2002, Steele served two terms in the State House, representing District 39.  Steele is the CEO of the STAND Foundation, Inc., a non-profit working to promote and develop leadership among young adults.

“Serving in the Arkansas Legislature has been a rewarding experience that has afforded me the opportunity to help my neighbors, small business owners and constituents throughout our community,” Senator Steele said.  “I am proud of my legislative record that includes bettering public health, improving our children’s public school experience and honoring the distinct history of African American culture in Arkansas.”

During his time in the Senate, Steele garnered the respect of his peers, serving as Senate Majority Leader during the 86th General Assembly—the first African American to be elected to that position.  He now serves as Chair of the Senate Interim Committee on Children and Youth and Vice Chair of the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee.  Both committees debate vital legislation to protect our children and to promote the health of Arkansans.

In recognition of his commitment to public health, Senator Steele was awarded the 2009 Public Health Through Public Policy Award form the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.

Now, more than ever, North Little Rock needs a State Representative with leadership and extensive legislative experience.  With nearly 45 Representatives term limited after this session, so much uncertainty in our economy and more critical issues facing our state, we need strong Legislators.  Senator Steele brings an unprecedented amount of institutional knowledge and credibility

“Together we have accomplished so much, yet we still have much to do.  I will use my experience and credibility in the legislature to build on the progress that we’ve made together.  Together, we’ll address tomorrow’s needs today,” said Senator Steele

In 2006, Steele was the lead sponsor and a chief advocate for the Clean Indoor Air Act that prohibits smoking inside restaurants and workplaces, reducing the harm from second hand smoke.  During his tenure in the Senate, Steele was a leader in developing the first statewide trauma system to improve the life saving abilities of our local hospitals.

He sponsored legislation to put external defibrillators in our public schools, to make physical activity a part of student’s curriculum, and to put social workers in our schools so teachers could teach and students would have trained professionals to help with problems they experience at school.

Senator Steele was instrumental in designating the third Monday in February as Daisy Gatson Bates Day.  He led the effort to place “Testament,” a sculpture honoring the Little Rock Nine, on the north lawn of the State Capitol.  He also helped to secure support for the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center right here in Central Arkansas.

Tracy Steele is a native of North Little Rock.  In addition to the STAND Foundation, Inc., he founded STAND! News, a publication focused on local issues affecting the black community.  He has also worked with the Midnight Basketball program, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund and the North Little Rock Boys & Girls Club.  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Baptist Health and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Tracy and his wife, Cassandra, have one daughter and one son.  They are members at St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock.

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