John Burkhalter, the only announced Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, made a campaign stop Monday in Monticello spreading his message of job creation and economic development.
Burkhalter, a successful North Little Rock businessman and a former chairman of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, recently resigned from the Arkansas Highway Commission and three other boards to focus on his campaign.
“For most Arkansas families and communities, opportunity starts with a job and ends with a job,” Burkhalter said. “A job is the difference between potential realized and potential lost.”
Burkhalter says he is not a politician and will not be “stuck in the trappings of Little Rock, the Capitol or State Government.” He said he would spend his time on assembly lines, in board rooms and at local farming cooperatives working directly with the people who power the Arkansas economy.
Burkhalter and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross have endorsed each other and announced a joint plan for a governor’s cabinet on economic development. Burkhalter would chair that cabinet.
The cabinet would provide better coordination, increased communication and a stronger, more unified strategy for job creation efforts, according to Burkhalter.
“It will help the state become more efficient, effective, and productive,” he said. “This Cabinet will ultimately become an engine for new, innovative ideas that grow the middle class and create good-paying jobs for more Arkansans.”
Burkhalter is the only Democrat in the race. Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry, a Democrat, dropped out of the race in July. State Reps. Charlie Collins and Andy Mayberry are seeking the Republican nomination.