by David Ramsey
About an hour after news broke that Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter is running for lieutenant governor, the Democratic field has now doubled: Little Rock School Board member Dianne Curry will join the race. Her press release after the jump.
Dianne Curry is announcing she is not quite done with elective politics.
Curry is the elected member of the Little Rock School Board for Zone # 7 and serves as President of the Little Rock School Board.
"For the last few months, I began a conversation with people all across Arkansas, and not just wealthy political donors, but everyday, hardworking Arkansans," says Curry. "I told them I am looking at opportunities like U.S. Congress or State Auditor, but the office that seems to make the most sense, that fits my experience and my abilities is Lieutenant Governor. So I am going to start a listening tour, beginning this Saturday"
Curry plans to be at the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival in Warren, which is the oldest and continuous festival in the state of Arkansas. It is in a rural county that Curry says is key if Democrats hope to win in November 2014.
"We have got to go out on the highways and byways of Arkansas," says Curry. "If Democrats want to win and hold the Governor's office and win back offices we lost like the Lieutenant Governor's office then it will take a combination of turning out those people we know who will vote for a more progressive candidate as well as offering voters a candidate who has a proven record of providing solutions to problems. In addition, we need to give a seat at the table in state government for more women, more minorities, and more working class people. Service in elective office should not be a majority of just one gender, one race, or one socio-economic status. Otherwise our government will not be representative of all whom it governs."
If Curry were elected Lt. Governor, she would be the first female to serve in that post as well as the first African-American elected to statewide office. Curry says if elected Lt. Governor, she could easily fulfill the constitutional requirements of the office which are to preside over the Arkansas State Senate and also serve in the absence of the Governor.
"After three terms on the Little Rock School Board and twice being elected President of the Board, I won't need on-the-job training to preside over the Arkansas State Senate in a fair and constitutional manner," said Curry. "But also being Lt. Governor means being responsible and not using the absence of the Governor to hijack the office and the temporary powers for political purposes like the current Lt. Governor did. We need a Lt. Governor that both the next Governor and the people of Arkansas can trust and I am such a person."
Curry says she would also use her time as Lt. Governor to promote in the Arkansas schools, the Capitol for a Day program that Governor Jim Guy Tucker instituted. She would also advocate for other programs that she believes offers better choices for Arkansans, such as healthier diets not just in the school lunches, but programs for Arkansans of all ages. She would also work with the next Governor and leaders of the Arkansas State Legislature to attract good paying jobs with good benefits for Arkansas.
"This office makes so much sense to me because it fits my abilities, my experience, and what I want to do in public service which is to be an advocate for better choices for all Arkansans," says Curry.
Curry is a native of Malvern, Arkansas and lives now with her daughter and grandson in southwest Little Rock. She was elected to the Little Rock School Board in 2006 and was reelected successfully twice more. She is a retired Arkansas State Employee working for the Arkansas Bank Commission and is a registered tax preparer and advisor. She is an active member of Union A.M.E. Church in Little Rock. She is also an active member of the Arkansas Democratic Party serving on the Executive Committee and has been elected delegate to multiple national conventions. She has been appointed to various boards and commissions by several Governor of Arkansas since Bill Clinton.