Arkansas, here we go! Since your state has a lot of agriculture and most of your economy is based in growing things, you guys should be very interested in keeping politicians in Congress who want to keep your planet healthy for you! A healthy planet = booming agriculture, and booming agriculture = booming business. To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Arkansas
Your election type: an open one. This means y’all don’t have to be registered with a party to vote in their primary. However, Arkansas does require that a candidate wins by a majority, so if a candidate doesn’t get a majority in the primary, a run-off election will be held on June 19, 2018.
Offices in the primaries: U.S. House, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, and State Land Commissioner. No Senate this time!
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Our pick: Chintan Desai
- Project Manager, KIPP Delta Public Schools, 2016-present
- Manager, Community Partnerships, Teach For America, 2014-2016
- Executive Assistant, KIPP Delta Public Schools, 2012-2014
- Corps Member, Teach for America, 2010-2012
- Summary: Reducing carbon emissions.
According to Chintan’s website, here’s what he values in greenhouse gas emission reduction:
- 80% reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 (he’s measuring these levels against levels recorded in 1990)
- Establish a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and reducing the cap every year, and
- Auctioning off the right to emit a certain quantity of greenhouse gases.
- By auctioning off the right to emit more greenhouse gas, the proceeds would go towards funding research and implementing renewable energy.
Although Chintan has a platform on renewable energy, it’s not terribly extensive. We don’t know his thoughts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture industry, which is a super important aspect of running in District 1 (and in Arkansas in general). He is, however, a more viable green option that the Incumbent, Rick Crawford, who has voted against EPA regulations of greenhouse gas emissions in the world of agriculture, but also has not introduced or voted positively on introducing effective and cheaper methods of renewable, sustainable energy to farmers all throughout District 1 and America. Chintan is our suggestion for District 1.
Other candidates running:
Our pick: Gwen Combs
- Organizer of Women’s March in Little Rock
- Summary: Sustainability for agricultural communities.
Gwen has a good grasp on all the important things related to sustainable energy, and she has the background to put into perspective how hard the transition to renewable energy will be for those in agriculture and in poor urban areas. Her platform includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and switching America over to renewable energy by 2030. Gwen acknowledges that shifting away from fossil fuels will leave some communities worse for wear, and she thinks that targeting them with new jobs in renewable energy fields will help boost the economy. She would like to reinstate protections for water, air, and land that were recently repealed by Congress, which would reduce pollution in important fisheries and waterways in Arkansas. They would also monitor big business and industries who insist on polluting the land, water, and air, which are vital for our continued survival. Gwen plans on taxes, taxes, and more taxes aimed at fossil fuel companies (we hope she expands this to include steel mills and the coal industry) so that the emissions produced are more costly than switching to renewable forms of energy.
Other candidates running in District 2:
- French Hill (R) – (Campaign Site) Incumbent
- Jonathan Dunkley (D)
- Paul Spencer (D)
- Clarke Tucker (D)
- Joe Swafford (Libertarian)
District 3, this is a situation where we would suggest you look at other important issues when voting.
Our pick: Robb Ryerse
- Summary: Best option available to you.
Robb Ryerse is what we would say is a recommendation and not necessarily an endorsement. On his campaign site, he does mention the need to acknowledge climate change, as well as research and develop renewable energy sources like wind and solar, but he doesn’t have much detail beyond that.
Other candidates running in District 3:
- Steve Womack (R)* – (Campaign Site) Incumbent – A few things about your incumbent Representative:
- He believes in an all-of-the-above approach to energy, meaning he prioritizes America becoming energy independent before developing renewable energy initiatives or technology.
- He voted to pass a bill that would delay the compliance date for ground-level ozone standards.
- His voting records suggest that he’s more interested in industry and big business that protecting the earth or his constituents
- Joshua Mahony (D)
- Michael Kalagias (Libertarian)
- Josh Moody (Independent)
- Jason Tate (Write-In)
Our pick: Hayden Shamel
- Chair, Democratic Party of Garland County, 2017-present
- MA from Texas A&M
According to Hayden’s website, the best way to get the economy of Arkansas going is to start bringing in sustainable energy. She also is a strong believer in protecting the environment for future generations. Without renewable energy and without the help of the federal government to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Arkansas will soon no longer have the thriving agriculture that it’s known for. Hayden is also a supporter of protecting public lands and keeping water and air clean, particularly by reducing carbon and methane emissions.