Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TOP STORY >> Two seek quorum court seat

Leader senior staff writer

Former state Rep. Sandra Prater, 59, a Democrat, and Jacksonville Alderman Aaron Robinson, 41, a Republican, are running for the Pulaski County JP District 11 seat being vacated by Bob Johnson.

Johnson is running unopposed as a Democrat for the District 42 state House seat now held by Rep. Mark Perry, who is ineligible to run because of term limits.

Prater, a registered nurse, not only served six years as a state representative, but prior to that, she served four years as a Jacksonville-area justice of the peace.

Robinson, a civil engineer working for Bond Engineering, has served a four-year term on the Jacksonville City Council.

The district consists of part of Jacksonville and north Pulaski County.

Prater says that her experience in county government will be especially important because longtime County Judge Buddy Villines is retiring and whoever wins that position will be new to the job.

“I want to continue having partnerships with the cities,” she said, like the county did with Jacksonville on the new traffic roundabout and for road and bridge issues

“I’ve worked hard, and I continue to work hard,” Prater said. “When people had issues I directed them to the individual who can assist them to get it resolved.

“I’m best qualified for the job, and I’m running on who I am and what I’ve done. I want to continue representing my neighbors.”

Robinson says he enjoys working with the public. He says he’s most interested in the Lake Maumelle watershed issue and protecting private property rights, and “I want to work…to fully fund the county jail, law enforcement and competitive pay.”

He is past president of the Jacksonville Rotary Club, a past Honorary Wing Commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, where he’s a member of the community council. He is on the Cabot Soccer Association board, coaches two soccer teams and is working on a national soccer-coaching license.

He is president of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Engineers, represents the state in the ASE, where he serves on the public policies committee. He is fund-raising chairman for the state’s ASCE and is creating a report card on Arkansas infrastructure for the ASCE.

“I am chairman of the civil engineering advisory board at his Alma Mater, Arkansas State University.

He and his wife Christy have a daughter 10 and a son eight.

They are members of the First Baptist Church at Cabot.

Prater is chair of the March of Dimes Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee. She serves on the boards of Carelink, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County, Lights for Literacy, Pulaski County Bridge Facilities Board and the Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board.

She is a member of the advisory board of Baptist Health Schools and is a member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

Prater attended the Baptist System School of Nursing and graduated as a registered nurse.

She and her husband, Kenneth, have been married 39 years and own a small business in north Pulaski County. They have two adult children, Kyle and his wife, Christy and Whitney and her husband, Spencer Ivey and 1 granddaughter.

They are members of Zion Hill Baptist Church.