Economic development, community policing and millennials were among the hot-button issues when the four candidates for Little Rock mayor introduced themselves and their platforms to the city Wednesday evening.
Over the last few months, I've had the honor of engaging with voters across the city. The message was clear: the next mayor must have a plan to unify and move Little Rock forward.
As a product of Little Rock public schools, I empathize with parents who want their schools back. These parents deserve a mayor who will fight to place their child's future back in the hands of communities that know them best.
"As mayor of Little Rock, I want to serve and lead all people. Regardless of their cultures and identities, everyone adds value - individually and collectively - to our city.
I want to help unify a Little Rock where everyone is welcome, affirmed, and free to show up fully in every aspect of their experience - black, brown, and white, and across all gender identities and sexual orientations. Because that’s what it takes to build a better city together.
More importantly, that is what it means to be human.
Everyone has value, and I will be a strong advocate for not just equality, but equity.”
Dialogue with Residents during Frank Discussions Compelled Scott to Seek Office
Little Rock, AR (June 2, 2018)– On Saturday, June 2, 2018 in the heart of midtown Little Rock at Better Community Development, Inc. (BCD), Frank Scott, Jr. formally announced his candidacy for mayor of Little Rock. A large crowd of Little Rock residents and community leaders celebrated the occasion with Scott, a native of Little Rock and former state highway commissioner, at a barbeque lunch following the announcement.
Scott released the following statement:
"I met with countless families over the course of my exploratory committee process through the Frank Discussion series and engaged residents in honest dialogue on issues impacting the progress of Little Rock. I listened to heartfelt stories from families that don’t feel safe in their community and witnessed the unease of local business owners who wonder if Little Rock could continue to support their ambition given our stagnant economic growth.
“Thank you to all of those I have spoken to and others whom I have met throughout my exploratory journey – I heard you loud and clear. And after much prayer and consideration, it was the accounts of Little Rock residents that compelled me to officially announce my candidacy for Mayor.
“I believe that Little Rock’s best days are ahead of us, and reaching them will require homegrown leadership. Fortunately, I was made in Little Rock. I am a proud product of our public schools and a longstanding member of our devoted faith community. And, I can promise that my campaign will reflect the values and steadfast drive of the residents that make me – a true son of Little Rock – proud to call this place home.
“The complexity of our problems will require a holistic approach to generate solutions and to unify our city. As a former Arkansas State Highway Commissioner, I know what can be achieved when City Hall makes smart infrastructure investments in an effort to reach our true potential. As a local banker, I know what can be achieved when City Hall and small businesses work together to grow the local economy. And as an associate pastor, I know what can be achieved when City Hall, public schools, and the faith community work in coordination to save our youth before losing them to the streets.
“I am inspired by the energy and momentum our journey has generated thus far, and I look forward to continuing to spread our vision for a prosperous, united Little Rock.”
Visit frankscottjr.com to learn more about Scott and his vision for moving Little Rock forward.
I welcome former Superintendent Kurrus to the Little Rock mayor's race of my hometown. I remain focused on our vision of Little Rock reaching its potential that centers on uniting our city and jobs growth. It's time for a new generation of leadership that honors our past and charts a new course for our future.
I envision Little Rock as a city of opportunity for all, and one where its leaders invest and commit to providing that opportunity to everyone. I spoke with KARK about the latest report on panhandlers in our community, and how we address this complicated issue impacting our community, and why criminalizing poverty is not our solution
Frank Scott, Jr.
“I have the utmost respect for Mayor Mark Stodola and am in solemn prayer for his family. His 12 years in the Mayor’s office embodied honor and decency, and Little Rock is thankful for his service. By declining to run for re-election, Mayor Stodola has opened the door for a new mayoral leadership in Little Rock.
I look forward to continuing my exploratory committee journey, listening to the concerns of families, and charting a course that builds on Little Rock’s wonderful assets, while working to unify our city to reach her fullest potential.”
I’m saddened to hear this news about the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Our community thrives when our creative and artistic minds come together to perform, reflect, and share with Little Rock. I hope you’ll consider supporting them as they work to restructure.
As Mayor, I would lead with the understanding that for Little Rock to be a thriving, growing and prosperous city, we must have a sustainable and culturally diverse arts and entertainment scene. The Rep has given that to us for decades — and I’m hopeful, for decades to come.
Read their story: http://www.therep.org/news/posts/2018/april-2018/arkansas-repertory-theatre-suspends-operation/
I believe that our best days are ahead of us, but we must exhibit a sense of urgency. Now is the time to remove our most violent elements from our streets and fully commit to rebuilding trust in every community.
Reducing crime will take real leadership and a holistic approach to get there. But the Little Rock I know and love is worth fighting for. Take a moment, and read my op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, then re-post and share with your friends and family.
“As a candidate, you want to make sure you stay close to the people,” says Frank Scott, vice president at First Security Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas, who recently announced his intention to run for mayor of Arkansas’ capital.
“You want to be able to understand your constituents as you make decisions on their behalf.”
My full column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: "The true purpose of the I-30 Crossing Project (30 Crossing) is to more safely connect central Arkansas and the people of Little Rock to each other while linking our city to the larger regional economy, improving public spaces, and bettering quality of life for our citizens."
This morning, Judge Timothy Davis Fox dismissed a lawsuit filed by the City of Little Rock, motivated by Mayor Mark Stodola, that wrongfully alleged that the exploratory committee formed by Frank Scott, Jr. – in accordance with state law – violated a City Code that prevents fundraising for office before June 1.
"I am a proud son of Little Rock. But like many of you, I often wonder why Little Rock has not experienced the same progress as so many other cities in the South.
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – Today, Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against the exploratory committees formed by Frank Scott, Jr. and Warwick Sabin. The suit alleges that the exploratory committees formed by Scott and Sabin in accordance with state law violate Little Rock’s City Code.
“I am disappointed in Mayor Stodola and his decision to proceed with costly litigation, particularly after the State Ethics Commission confirmed the validity of my exploratory committee back in October. Rather than focus on the rise in violent crime or stagnant job growth in Little Rock, Stodola seeks to obstruct the democratic process by attempting to prevent potential challengers from forming exploratory committees,” stated Frank Scott, Jr.
For months, Stodola and Carpenter have attempted to prevent the Scott exploratory committee from operating despite being validly registered with the Pulaski County Clerk’s Office. Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley also made it clear that he would not prosecute any exploratory committee under the provision of the City Code Stodola is seeking to enforce.
City Code and Arkansas law authorizing exploratory committees suggests that Little Rock residents considering municipal elected office can avail themselves of exploratory committees. Once formal campaigns are launched, they are then subject to the City Code’s restrictions on fundraising and the use of carryover funds from previous campaigns.
Also worth noting is that Mayor Stodola is seeking to improperly enforce one section of the City Code that would prevent the Scott exploratory committee from operating all while failing to comply with another section of the same City Code that prevents him from carrying over campaign funds from his 2014 campaign.
Scott continued, “Little Rock faces real challenges, and none of those challenges involve my exploratory committee, which has followed applicable state law. Despite Stodola’s desperate attempt, I remain encouraged by the broad-based support my exploratory committee has received across the city. We are exploring a run for mayor because Little Rock is in desperate need of bold leadership. Let’s embrace those who bring new ideas to the table rather than try to silence them in favor of the status quo. Dismissing this lawsuit and repealing the ordinance are the only way to ensure that every Little Rock voter has their voice heard as we approach another city election.”
CONTACT: Stephanie Jackson
"The mayor's race in Little Rock isn't until next year and would have been interesting even without Frank Scott's entering it..."
"Banker and former highway commissioner Frank Scott, Jr. said he is exploring a run to lead the state’s capital city.
"Banker Frank Scott, Jr. is considering entering the Little Rock mayoral race. The life-long Little Rock resident said on Tuesday he’s exploring a 2018 bid."
"Scott gave his reason for wanting new leadership for Little Rock, saying, "It's time to consider bold, new solutions for old problems. It's time to work together and create more opportunities for everyone who calls Little Rock home."
"Frank Scott Jr., an executive with First Security Bank who served in former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's administration, said Tuesday that he is exploring a possible run for Little Rock mayor in 2018."
"Frank Scott, Jr., a Little Rock banker who formerly sat on the state Highway Commission, will be running for Little Rock mayor in 2018, setting up a three-way contest for leadership of the city."