Women Make History in Arkansas State Legislature Races Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. #####IMG000000001#####Video
In 1919, Arkansas approved the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in all elections. Several years later, Frances Hunt and Erle Chambers became the first two women to serve together in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
“One man’s mob is another woman‘s movement,” Flowers said. “I don’t think that it’s a matter of women trying to figure out how to appeal. As a matter of fact, we need to stop doing that and just represent and deliver an authentic message. I think we saw a lot of that, and we saw a lot of wins.”
“I felt like our legislators were not listening to their voters, to their constituents,” said Denise Garner, the Democratic representative-elect who unseated Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville. “Our constituents have spoken loud and clear that they do not like Act 562, which is the guns on campus law which became the guns everywhere law.”
Election results have not yet been certified but if the numbers hold, these state representatives and senators will start their terms in 2019, the same year as the centennial celebration of women‘s suffrage in Arkansas.
“History gives us an idea about where we don’t want to or need to be again, and it also helps us to see where we can go,” Flowers said. “I mean, we have a member with a baby who brings her to meetings, and it’s okay. I hope one day she breaks out and nurses her baby so everybody can relax.”
Flowers is referring to Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, who was elected during a special election in May to fill Sen. Greg Standridge’s seat. She defeated Democrat Teresa Gallegos in the special and Republican Bob Bailey in the primary runoff.
The 2018 midterm elections broke another legislative record. The black caucus, which usually stays static at 15 members, picked up one more this year in the House, representative-elect Jamie Scott, D-North Little Rock.