Mike Akin

Mike Akin

Monticello businessman Mike Akin has announced his candidacy to represent Arkansas Senate District 26. Akin made his announcement at the Drew County Republican Committee’s Reagan Dinner in Monticello Saturday night.

If elected, Akin will become the first Republican to represent Southeast Arkansas in the state Senate.

“I really didn’t have any intentions on running for public office but as a businessman with convictions, I’ve been very concerned about the direction our country seems to be taking and felt there were some common sense decisions that could head us back in a more positive direction,” Akin said in his announcement Saturday evening.

Akin has been president and chief executive officer of Akin Industries since 1988.

Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed Akin to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission in 1997 and then to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees in 2003. Akin was named Arkansas Businessman of the Year in 1990 and Akin Industries was named Monticello Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in 1991.

“Mike Akin has been an independent businessman for 25 years,” said Diana Harton, chairman of the Drew County Republican Committee. “We desperately need business men and women in government, people who’ve had to make a payroll, provide health insurance for their employees, work within a budget, and who have actually created real-world jobs through their businesses.”

Senate District 26, recently created by the State’s Board of Apportionment, includes Desha, Drew, Bradley, Ashley, Chicot counties as well as the southern half of Lincoln and the eastern half of Cleveland counties including the towns of Star City, Warren, Monticello, Dermott, Hermitage, Crossett, McGehee, Hamburg, and Lake Village.

Akin does not have an announced opponent in the primary in May, but will face a Democrat challenger in the general election in November 2012.