This area is for members of the press and journalists interested in covering the Melissa’s campaign for state representative. If you are seeking an interview, please contact her directly at (501) 416-0148 or via email at Melissa@MelissaFults.com.
Mike Creekmore, a Saline County justice of the peace from Bauxite, will face Andy Mayberry, Julie Mayberry’s husband and the former District 27 representative, in the primary.
They are the only two announced candidates so far for the March 1 GOP primary. The winner of the Republican primary would face the Democratic challenger in the general election Nov. 8, 2016.
Melissa Fults, a dairy goat farmer and active supporter of the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, which would legalize “medical marijuana,” is the only Democrat to have announced a candidacy for the seat.
Health care may be a key issue in the primary and general elections.
Andy Mayberry voted for the private option. Creekmore said if he had been in the Arkansas Legislature, he probably would have voted against it.
Both candidates said they believed the private option should be improved, not repealed.
The private option is the state’s expanded Medicaid program that uses federal dollars to subsidize private health insurance for up to 250,000 Arkansans.
When asked about other important legislation, Creekmore said the state needed to clarify the legality of openly carrying weapons. He said he has a strong pro-gun and anti-abortion voting record.
Creekmore served as a Democrat when he represented Little Rock in the Arkansas House of Representatives more than a decade ago. He said he changed his affiliation when he ran for Saline County justice of the peace about two years ago.
“I’ve always been very conservative. You can look at my record,” he said. “The Democratic Party — they were just moving in the opposite direction.”
Andy Mayberry said outside the private option — which affects the amount of money available to address other state problems — highway funding is near the top of his list of priorities.
“I am not in favor — absolutely not in favor — of a recommendation by some to raise the gasoline tax to do that,” he said. “I’m going to paraphrase Rep. Andy Davis — who I thought had a great quote — we need to turn the couch cushions upside down and see what change falls out.”
Fults — who lives a few miles from the Mayberry family in East End — said the Republican-controlled Legislature has the wrong priorities, especially when it comes to education.
“They’re off in la-la land looking at things that at the end of the day are not going to make a person’s life better,” she said. “I think those are the things we need to get back to.”
She said she would like to expand the state’s prekindergarten programs.
“We have a lot of kids, when they graduate high school, they are not college material, but yet there’s not a whole lot to offer them. They want to get an education, they want to get the training so they can get a decent job,” she said. “I don’t think those needs are being met.”
She predicted voters would pass the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act. Supporters are currently collecting signatures to put it on the ballot. In 2012, voters narrowly rejected medical marijuana.
Metro on 10/09/2015
Print Headline: Two former lawmakers seek House seat
Another new Democratic face emerges to challenge for a Republican-held state House seat, again with the subtle message that suggests voters should turn to local issues in choosing representatives. It’s a good theme against the all-Obama-all-the-time theme Republicans have used so well the last four years. One question is whether it might still have staying power.
Melissa Fults, an East End dairy goat farmer, says she’ll run for House District 27, which covers parts of Pulaski and Saline counties and is currently held by Republican Julie Mayberry. Her husband Andy Mayberry, who’s held the seat before, says he’ll run for it this year.
(Hensley, AR)—Melissa Fults announced her candidacy for Arkansas State House District 27 earlier today. A dairy goat farmer, community champion, and Democrat, Fults expressed her disappointment that many lawmakers are increasingly shifting their focus away from the important issues that affect every day Arkansans.
“The people in our district—my family, my friends, and my neighbors—need a representative who more accurately reflects them and shares their concerns for our future and that of future generations. We have to change direction, seek solutions for the real problems Arkansans face daily, and, most importantly, get back to helping others succeed.”
Fults pointed to her grandmother, Pauline, as her “biggest hero” and the individual most responsible for shaping her own values.
“During the Great Depression, homeless individuals used signs to indicate places of safe haven. My grandmother’s house must have been marked with that sign because rarely a day passed where she didn’t provide a stranger with food and water.” Fults continued, “My grandparents had so very little, but they shared what they had. She lived by those standards throughout her life, and, until the day she was taken to the nursing home, my grandmother always left the stove on with something warm—just in case.”
Addressing the need for a better education for our state’s children, Melissa said, “The state must expand our pre-K programs to provide opportunities for each and every child to get that extra step up in education.” She added that improving educational opportunities does not stop with pre-K, saying, “We must also increase the accessibility of technical training and address college affordability.”
As shown by the dedication to her dairy farm and her determination in advocating for patients and their doctors to have the right to choose an alternative treatment, Fults expressed she has the strength, courage, and commitment to be the best advocate for the people in District 27. “We all want the same thing;” Melissa continued, “a chance to earn a decent living so that we may provide our families with a home, food, clothing, and quality healthcare.”
Melissa Fults lives in East End where she and Gary, her husband of nearly thirty-five years, raised their three children. Gary, a retired railroad engineer, is currently the woodwork director and an instructor at the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center. Melissa and Gary also have three grandchildren.
For more information, visit Melissa Fults for State Representative on Facebook and www.melissafults.com.