LINCOLN -- New state House District 23 will pick its first state representative in the Nov. 8 election.
The state redrew legislative district boundaries after the 2020 U.S. census. Washington County gained two House seats thanks to population growth there. One of those additions is District 23, taking in Greenland, Lincoln, Prairie Grove, West Fork and western Washington County to the Oklahoma state line.
These smaller towns previously had been in districts stretching as far south as Van Buren and Alma in Crawford County or parts of Fayetteville to the north.
Republican Kendra Moore faces Libertarian candidate Ryan Hanson in the race. No Democrat entered. State representatives serve two-year terms and receive a base salary of $44,357.
Early voting begins Monday. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Moore defeated two rivals, including a Washington County justice of the peace, in her Republican primary. Hanson said he ran at the request of his party, which is trying to give Arkansans an alternative to Republicans and Democrats.
"I've lived there all my life," Moore said of Lincoln. "This is a servant's opportunity to give back to a community that's given so much to me."
She said she raised her family and operates her business there.
"I'm a vested member of this community," she said.
Moore said she is as conservative as her district.
"I want to uphold those conservative family values," she said.
The challenge these communities face is to keep that small-town, neighborly outlook while they grow along with the rest of Northwest Arkansas, one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, she said. Those towns also face practical infrastructure needs to accommodate the growth they expect, she said.
Small businesses in the district's towns and in the rest of Arkansas also need more attention than they get from the state Legislature, she said.
Hanson said neither the people in the district nor outside it need more attention from government than they get now.
"I believe in total personal liberty and freedom," he said. "Every person is the only person who should govern an individual."
"I would vote totally and utterly against any tax increases and for anything that puts more powers back in the hands of the people," Hanson said.
As for police and fire protection, "if something is worth funding, people will pay for it voluntarily," he said. "It's a matter of individual opinion."
What most people in his district want from state government is not something he is trying to gauge, Hanson said. The principle of individual freedom is what matters, he said.
He is running to help put Libertarian Party principles into the Legislature, he said.
"We don't want to play the game," he said.