Robert Hutchison, Democrat, has announced he is seeking election to the Arkansas House of Representatives in District 82.
The seat is currently held by Curren Everett, who is restricted by term limits from running for re-election to the House seat and is seeking the District 10 position for the Senate. District 82 includes all of Fulton County and portions of Baxter and Sharp Counties.
The primary election will be held May 18, 2010, and the General Election will be November 2010.
Hutchison has previously served the local community on the Sharp Nursing Home Board of Directors and as a board member for the Evening Shade School District. Currently he is the President of the School Board for the Cave City School District. He has been active in working with legislators and lobbying for issues affecting K-12 and higher education in the state as well as proposed legislation related to behavioral health and juvenile courts. "It would be an honor and privilege to represent the people of District 82 in the House," Hutchison said. "My family goes back 150 years in this area and has been active in politics for four generations. My father, Rex Hutchison, was tax assessor back in the 50's in Sharp County and served on several boards. One of the things he taught us growing up was service to the community. I believe my background, education and experience would allow me to be an asset to the people of this area as we address the issues that are going to affect District 82 and all Arkansans in the coming sessions."
Born and raised in Evening Shade, Hutchison is a farmer and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant. He is also the Director of School-linked and Juvenile Court Liaison Programs for Health Resources of Arkansas, the community behavioral health agency serving 15 counties in Northcentral Arkansas. He earned an A.A Degree from ASU-Beebe, a B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University, and M.A. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and did doctoral work at Mississippi State University. After returning to Arkansas, he has worked at Ozarka College and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro at the Mountain Home campus as Coordinator of the four year and Graduate Degree Center.
Although Hutchison is active in the community, he is best known as "Joe and Jake's Dad." Joe, 8, and Jake, 5 have become known in the area for their singing and entertaining. They travel with Robert as much as possible and sing at various events. "I feel blessed that I am able to raise my sons in the rural area in which we live. They will have unlimited opportunities. However, one area of major concern for me is their education. Over the past few years I have seen our smaller schools closed in spite of the high quality education they offered. I want to make a difference in education and enhance the availability of lifetime learning in our district. Every day in my work, I encounter children and families in crisis. I watch it become increasingly difficult for the honest, hard working families of this area to send their children to college or even make the kind of living they deserve. I believe I can be a strong and effective advocate in the legislature for the people of our district."