Barbara Graves enters race for Allen Kerr's seat | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Barbara Graves enters race for Allen Kerr's seat

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Can a Democrat win a House race in western Little Rock? I think so. And I think the Democrats have a strong candidate for House District 32, now held by Republican Allen Kerr. She's Barbara Graves, businesswoman, former Chamber of Commerce president and former city director who made a strong race for mayor against Mark Stodola.

Kerr's battle against state employee double-dipping will give him some electoral power (if not with state employees). But he totes a fair amount of baggage, too, among them his opposition to providing women with free preventive care, including birth control pills, in their health insurance plans. Her news release follows.


Little Rock business owner Barbara Graves announced her candidacy for state House District 32, naming job creation and economic development as her top two priorities for the district.

“As a small business owner active in the Little Rock business community, we need a voice in the state House that will be an advocate to create jobs and grow existing businesses,” Graves said. “Any business person can tell you that our budgets are tight, and Little Rock deserves leadership whose number one priority is developing and growing the economy so every family has the opportunity for success.”

Graves has owned and managed a business in West Little Rock for 38 years, while representing the interests of business owners as a past president for the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of directors for organizations such as Central Arkansas Executives Association and Centennial Bank of Little Rock. Graves also serves as the Vice Chair for Baptist Health Systems,

“The people of District 32 want to know that the future of Little Rock will be a place where their children and grandchildren will be able to lead a successful life, and I will work as state representative to ensure we create jobs and advance education so Little Rock has a strong workforce to attract employers,” Graves said. “As our state’s capital city, people look to Little Rock as representative of the entire state, and I will make sure that we develop an economy and progressive education system that shows the entire country what makes Arkansas great.”

A parent and grandparent of two, Graves understands the vital role that education plays in ensuring the success of Arkansas families while building a workforce that attracts new industry and enables existing businesses to grow.

“In my 38 years of owning a small business, I know the challenges businesses face,” Graves said. “Life is always about choices — whether it’s personal or business related — and our job in the state House is to ensure that Arkansas families have the opportunities in place so that they can make choices that lead to success.”

Having built a reputation as a consensus-builder through her six year service on the Little Rock City Board of Directors, Graves also cited the importance of working together in government to do what’s best for the people. “Little Rock needs someone who will build consensus in the state House to produce real results, and I have a track record to listen to all sides and work towards the best solutions,” Graves said.

Graves is running in house District 32 which encompasses parts of the West Little Rock and Chenal regions. She has been living in House District 32 for 25 years.

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