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FAYETTEVILLE -- Dawn Clemence is the first Republican candidate since 2004 to run for the state Senate District 4 seat.

"I am running to provide the people with a reasonable voice in the Arkansas state Senate," said Clemence, 55, who filed to represent Fayetteville in her first bid for elective office.

She will face Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, in the Nov. 6 general election. Neither has an opponent for the May 22 party primaries. Senate terms are for four years. Members can serve 16 years in the Legislature under the state constitution's limit on terms. They are paid a $39,400 salary.

The District 4 race is open because Uvalde Lindsey, a Democrat, is not running for re-election.

Any reputation District 4 may have as a safe Democratic seat is likely more due to Lindsey's popularity and the community's regard for him than partisan preference, Clemence said. "I expect a tough race," she said.

Constituents of the district "want change, a new tone, someone who has 'grit,' who will stick to their principles, collaborate and most of all take action to achieve lasting results," Clemence said.

Clemence, of Fayetteville, works for Shire Pharmaceuticals as an ophthalmic specialist, the field of medicine related to the eye and its diseases. She has worked in the pharmaceutical field since 1998.

"Working in management and medical fields for the past two decades has strengthened my desire to give back and preserve the wonderful way of life we enjoy here in Arkansas," she said.

Clemence has a master's degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. She attained her bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

District 4 is one of the nine Democratic seats in the 35-seat Senate. A 2002 race in the district elected Sue Madison, a Democrat, after three recounts and by a margin of 44 votes out of 21,672 cast, election records show.

Senate terms are normally four years long but legislative redistricting after the 2000 census meant another race in the district in 2004, which Madison won with 52 percent of the vote. Madison and then Lindsey remained unchallenged after that.

NW News on 03/07/2018

Print Headline: Clemence runs for Senate

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