Who are your candidates for the Arkansas 2018 primaries?

The Arkansas 2018 primaries are coming up Tuesday, May 22 and here are your candidates if you live in the UA Little Rock area.

U.S. House of Representatives – District 2

[Note: If you do not live in the Little Rock area, these candidates may differ. Find more voting info here.]

Gwen Combs Photo: The Combs Campaign

Gwen Combs – D

Gwen Combs, according to her website, is a first-generation college graduate and a former communication and navigation systems journeyman for the United States Air Force Special Operations Command. For her service, she received the Air Force Achievement Medal for her time spent deployed in Thailand. Combs received a bachelor’s degree in English while serving overseas, and her master’s degree in gifted education here at UA Little Rock. After receiving her degree, Combs became a teacher where she taught grades ranging from kindergarten to 11th grade in Arkansas. Combs is currently a teacher for the Little Rock School District and a political activist. She was lead organizer for the Arkansas Woman’s March, one of Arkansas’s largest political protests.

Combs’ political priorities, as outlined on her website, are easy access to affordable healthcare, debt-free public education for all, closing the pay gap between women and men, raising the minimum wage in Arkansas to $15, creating stricter gun laws, and attempting to make most of America run on renewable energy by the year 2030.

Jonathan Dunkley Photo: The Dunkley Campaign

Jonathan Dunkley – D

Jonathan Dunkley graduated from Philander Smith College and the Clinton School for Public Service. According to his campaign page, He also has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, worked with kids exiting the foster care system, served for 10 years in Belize working with college students from around the country, and mentored youth throughout central Arkansas through his non-profit that works with young men to help them become contributing members of society.

Dunkley’s main issues that he stands for are creating a patient-centered health care system for all Americans, raising the minimum rage to $15, reworking the education system so we have less of an emphasis on test scores, and debt-free public education for all.

Paul Spencer Photo: The Spencer Campaign

Paul Spencer – D

Paul Spencer comes from a blue-collar, working-class family and today is a Government and History teacher at Catholic High, according to his campaign’s website. In 2010, Spencer formed a local group in Arkansas called Regnat Populus, which means “The People Rule.” With this group, Spencer was able to help pass the Ethics Amendment 94 to the Arkansas Constitution in 2014, which banned direct corporate contributions to state candidates. Spencer also co-founded the Arkansas Democracy Coalition, which streamlined and collaborated against dark money and corruption in politics on both a local and national level.

Spencer’s main issues include creating Medicare for all, providing cheaper-high speed internet for rural communities, establishing a system of postal banking, obtaining equity in communities of color, obtaining affordable housing, and creating debt-free education for all.

Rep. Clarke Tucker Official Photo

Clarke Tucker – D

Clarke Tucker is a seventh generation Arkansan as well as a cancer survivor. Tucker’s campaign site says he graduated from Central High, where he served as the Student Body President. He then attended Harvard University for his degree in Government and then the University of Arkansas for his law degree and also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Arkansas Law ReviewTucker has severed two terms in Arkansas’s 35th House District and has been a community leader in Little Rock for years.

Tucker’s main political values are improving our nation’s healthcare system, improving our infrastructure, providing cheaper-high speed internet for rural communities, reworking the education system so we have less of an emphasis on test scores, fighting to keep Social Security and Medicare for senior citizens, fighting for equal pay for all men and women, and fighting for the LGBTQ community by providing equal access to benefits like social security and supporting nondiscrimination laws such as the Equality Act.

Rep. French Hill Official Photo

Joe Swafford Photo: The Swafford Campaign


Republican incumbent Rep. French Hill, who is seeking reelection, and Libertarian nominee Joe Swafford are running unopposed and will face off against the winner of the Democratic primary this November.



Gov. Asa Hutchinson Official Photo

Gov. Asa Hutchinson – R

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is currently the 46th Governor of Arkansas and is now seeking re-election. In 1972, Hutchinson got his bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and three years later got his law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He practiced law in Fort Smith until he was appointed U.S. Attorney of Arkansas’s western district by President Ronald Reagan, becoming the youngest U.S. Attorney General in the nation at the age of 31. Hutchinson has also served as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the first Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security and as a Representative for Arkansas’s 3rd district for three terms.

During his time as Governor, Hutchinson has been responsible for the largest tax cut in Arkansas history, signing the Middle-Class Income Tax Cut of $102 million. He also passed a law in 2015 that required computer science courses to be taught in every public high school, making Arkansas the first state to do this. Hutchinson is an open supporter of Medicaid reform, 2nd amendment rights, religious freedom laws and anti-abortion laws.

If re-elected, Hutchinson says that he will continue the progress he has made for Arkansas.

Jan Morgan Photo: The Morgan Campaign

Jan Morgan – R

Jan Morgan describes herself as a “born again Christian, a genetically conservative wife, mother, small business owner [and] certified firearms instructor.” Morgan owns her own gun range in Hot Springs called “The Gun Cave” and has served two terms on the Executive Board of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention. She is also an award-winning veteran investigative tv journalist and has been a recurring guest on Fox News as an analyst and Second Amendment expert, becoming widely known as the “First Lady of the Second Amendment.”

As a small business owner herself, Morgan is a supporter of small business and believes that we should provide tax and regulatory relief to those small businesses. She is pro-life and a supporter of religious freedom laws, increased tax cuts and school choice. She is against organizations like Planned Parenthood and opposes sanctuary cities, the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage.

Jared Henderson Photo: The Henderson Campaign

Jared Henderson – D

Jared Henderson graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Physics. Later, he got a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration under a full scholarship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. For two years, Henderson worked as a research scientist and operations manager at NASA. After NASA, he got a job working for McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s top business strategy firms, and worked alongside Fortune 500 executives, a state superintendent of education, and supported mayors of two of America’s largest cities during the Great Recession in 2008.

Henderson’s main focus is public education. As former executive director and senior vice president of Teach for America for six years, Henderson is responsible for more than 1,500 teachers and 150 employees. His goal is to build an education system that prepares children for jobs that do not even exist yet, but may in the future. He also owns and operates a medical practice with wife, and wants to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all Arkansans. He was put up for adoption by an unwed, teenage mother after his birth and has never met his biological mother, so he has personal experience with the debate of abortion, but believes it should still be legal for cases such as rape, incest and health of the mother. He also says he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but is opposed to open carry laws on university campuses.

Leticia Sanders – D

Leticia Sanders is a hairdresser from Maumelle that entered the race at the last minute, but says she has been thinking about running since 2017.  She attended Webster University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, according to her LinkedIn page. She is running because of her passion for helping others. 

Sanders is a supporter of the decriminalization of marijuana and supports giving second chances to non-violent criminals who are imprisoned for using the drug. She is a supporter of gun-reform laws and is strongly against the idea of arming teachers. She also supports programs like DACA and ACA.

Mark West Photo: TheWest Campaign


Libertarian nominee Mark West is also running for Governor and will go up against the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries in November.

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