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Female candidates in NWA

Candidates+for+office+gather+at+an+Emerge+Arkansas+event+in+December.+
Candidates for office gather at an Emerge Arkansas event in December.

Candidates for office gather at an Emerge Arkansas event in December.

Maggie Hendrix

Maggie Hendrix

Candidates for office gather at an Emerge Arkansas event in December.

Maggie Hendrix, Reporter

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Following Donald Trump’s election to the presidency in 2016, there has been a sharp increase in activism and political awareness. Since last November, the country has seen an unprecedented number of Progressives announce candidacy for office, particularly minorities and women. In Northwest Arkansas, female candidates have announced opposing a number of Right-Wing incumbents.

Among the candidates is Nicole Clowney, who is running for the Arkansas House seat left open by Greg Leding (Leding will run for Uvalde Lindsey’s state Senate seat). Clowney has studied at the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. She was a clerk for the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and has worked at a non-profit firm for children’s legal issues. She is now a Fayetteville resident and teaches Classical Studies at the University of Arkansas. Clowney is a founding member of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and she is centering her campaign around inclusion, business, environmental issues, families, and education.

Denise Garner has announced on the Democratic ticket opposing state representative Charlie Collins. Garner is a retired oncology nurse and philanthropist. She and her husband Hershey have been active in local politics and philanthropy for decades. According to her website, Denise has “invested in the people of Arkansas for over 40 years as a small business owner and a nonprofit leader.”

Adrienne Kvello initially announced opposing Garner in the primary election, but she is now running for Washington County Circuit Clerk. Kvello is a local attorney, and her campaign platform is based on technology, access to justice, transparency, and helping property owners.

Kim Snow is running for Arkansas House District 80. Snow’s main campaign issues are health care, education, the economy, and agriculture. Snow is opposing Republican Charlene Fite, one of 25 women currently in the Arkansas Legislature (18.5%).

According to The Arkansas Times, lawyer Kelly Scott Unger recently announced candidacy for House District 87, currently represented by Robin Lundstrum, a district in which Republicans have typically run unopposed.

Organizations including the Progressive Women’s Political Action Committee, the League of Women Voters, EMILY’s List, and Emerge America are working in Northwest Arkansas and on a national scale to increase female representation in government. Emerge, a national organization geared towards training Democratic women to run for office is working to open an Arkansas chapter to recruit female candidates to run at all levels of government. While Arkansas politics have traditionally been both strongly Conservative and male-dominated, 2018 is threatening the political status quo amid a surge of Progressive and female candidates.

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