Wednesday, November 01, 2017

TOP STORY >> Perry running again for old seat in House

Former state Rep. Mark Perry of Jacksonville, a Democrat, announced on Tuesday he will run for his old Dist. 42 House seat next year. Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) recently announced he is not seeking a third term and is running for Jacksonville mayor instead.

Perry was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and served for three terms until 2014, when he was term limited. But a new term-limit law allows office holders to serve up to 16 years.

“I enjoy serving,” Perry said at a campaign kickoff at the Jacksonville Community Center. “I try to make a difference.”

Perry said his focus has been on education, economic development and veterans affairs.

Three years ago, before he left office, he headed a committee that selected an interim Jacksonville-North Pulaski School Board. Their names were submitted to the state Board of Education, which approved the seven-member school board until elections could be held.

The committee also included Sen. Linda Chesterfield, Sen. Jane English, Rep. Doug House, all of North Little Rock, along with Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher and Rep. Bob Johnson, also of Jacksonville.

Perry owns an insurance business, several Subway shops and a funeral home in Jacksonville.

He and his wife, Valerie, have a daughter, Emilee; two sons, Blake and Logan and daughter-in-law Janey, and a grandson, Kase.

Perry has endorsed Johnson for mayor and Johnson has endorsed Perry and cited his legislative experience in behalf of education.

“He was the lead sponsor establishing the new school district,” Johnson said. “We’re going to provide a good education and make sure we maintain funding. He also headed the lottery oversight committee. I’ll be able to talk to him as mayor.”