Rep. Sheilla Lampkin

Sheilla Lampkin of Monticello has announced her candidacy for the office of State Representative District 9, in the May 2012 Democratic Primary Election.

Lampkin represents District 10 that covers portions of Drew, Lincoln, Cleveland and Jefferson counties; but when the new state House district maps were redrawn as a result of the 2010 census, the new maps show Lampkin residing in District 9. District 9  includes approximately two-thirds of both Drew County and Ashley County, including Hamburg and the heart of Crossett.

“This is much of the district now represented by good friend and State Representative Eddie Cheatham, who is term-limited in the House and running for a seat in the Senate,” Lampkin said in a news release announcing her candidacy for District 9.

A native of Desha County, Lampkin taught public schools 30 and one-half years, 19 of those in special education. After leaving the teaching profession, she has been involved and volunteered in a variety of civic and community activities; including Chamber of Commerce activities, Drew Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Drew County Fair Board, Lions Club, EHC programs and several local and state historic preservation organizations and projects.

She has received several preservation awards and two Arkansas History Association awards for historical “feature” articles. She also served as chairperson of the Arkansas History Commission for two years, and in 2008 she was named Drew County-Monticello “Woman of the Year” for her volunteer work.

Lampkin also attends a great many local, regional and state meetings relating to economic development ideas and opportunities and has forged relationships with many leaders and officials in these endeavors. She is deeply concerned about economic development in southeast Arkansas and this concern led her to run for the legislature in 2010 and defeat four opponents, allowing her to serve in the 88th General Assembly.

Lampkin presently serves as Vice-Chair of the House Advanced Communications and Informational Technology Committee. She also is a voting member of the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, the Public Health Labor and Environmental Subcommittee, the City, County and Local Affairs Committee, the Local Government Personnel Subcommittee, the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, the Legislative Auditing Counties and Municipalities Committee and the Task Force on Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

Additionally, she is a non-voting member of the Public Retirement and Social Security Programs Committee and the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee. She also attends most Education Committee meetings when there is no conflict with other obligations because she is intent on becoming a member of that committee next session.

Known for her diligent work on behalf of Southeast Arkansas, Lampkin says she believes in southeast Arkansas and wants to see more sustainable growth opportunities in the area for all.

“Sustainable economic growth and development means projects that create jobs and add citizens to our population who buy our houses, support our schools, purchase our cars, boats and other goods, pay our taxes, use our banks – in short, support and revitalize our communities 24/7 365 days a year,” Lampkin said. “Visitors are wonderful and welcome for short terms, but we need opportunities for permanent growth.

“Our greatest opportunities for growth will come in developing old and new business opportunities,” she said. “Southeast Arkansas is my home; I want to be a part of that growth process.”

Lampkin said she is “truly heartsick” about recent layoffs at SeaArk Marine in Monticello and then the devastating loss of 700 jobs at Georgia-Pacific in Crossett.

“This is a huge blow to the entire area,” she said. “I will do anything in my power to support G-P and its workers and get them up and running as soon as possible. I will be in close contact with G-P officials, Rep. Cheatham, Senator Jeffress and Crossett’s leadership to monitor the situation. Both business entities need all our support and prayers for them and their employees.”

Lampkin says she also supports other area businesses, including UAM and its Crossett campus as well as our public schools.

“I believe in strong schools,” she said. “I believe that “No Child Left Behind”, “active participation by all parents in their child’s education”, and the Easter bunny might be worthy ideas, but are not a reality in our world. Our schools still can, and do, accept and meet the burden of teaching to each child – willingly.

“In southeast Arkansas we also need to create and support more opportunities for more of our children to be able to come/stay home and use those good educations we have provided them,” Lampkin said. “Too often our ‘brightest and best’ can’t come back home and make a good living. This is a great concern to me.

You will be hearing and seeing much from me in the next few months,” Lampkin said. “I hope to get to know and visit with each of you. I know many of your past and present county judges, mayors, politicians and economic leaders personally and have many friends throughout the area. I hope to add each of you to that list. I look forward to representing District 9 and will appreciate your support and vote in the 2012 Democratic primary. Meanwhile please call or email me if you’d like to visit or if I might help you. I can be reached at 870-723-6449, [email protected] or [email protected]. ”

Lampkin has been married 44 years to Drew County Judge Damon Lampkin. They are members of Second Baptist Church in Monticello where she is an Adult Class Sunday School teacher.