Democratic State Rep. Warwick Sabin has announced he’s exploring a run for Little Rock mayor in 2018. The announcement comes as Little Rock faces growing incidents of violent crime, a school district under state control, and a major interstate expansion project that has drawn the derision of many community groups.
In a press release, Sabin says he would promote new energy, create jobs, and improve education. The press release says he will “visit and listen to every corner of the city.”
Sabin is currently serving his third term in the State House of Representatives, representing parts of downtown and midtown Little Rock and is the founder of the Arkansas Innovation Hub. He also served as University of Arkansas student body president. He will be holding public meetings with residents on July 9 at three locations in the city.
Little Rock’s current mayor, Mark Stodola, has not yet announced his intention to run again in 2018. He has served in that role since 2007.
Sabin has criticized the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s $630 million “30-Crossing” project that Mayor Stodola has largely supported. With construction expected to begin in 2018, the project would expand Interstate 30 from 6 lanes to as many as 10 lanes on a 6.7 mile stretch through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Critics, Sabin among them, have considered it an unnecessary expansion that has the potential to draw resources away from improving other types of transportation infrastructure, like the region’s bus system.
The Arkansas Times reports that State Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock is also planning a mayoral run.
The position of mayor is non-partisan, but Stodola, Sabin and Tucker are all Democrats.
Note: KUAR failed to notice that the announcement for Sabin's potential run was embargoed until Sunday morning. We regret the error.