Rep. Stephen Meeks announced he is seeking re-election.

Meeks grew up in Faulkner County and graduated from Greenbrier High School in 1988.

He joined the Army Reserves and served during the first Gulf War as a Combat Engineer and Cargo Specialist. He earned a degree in telecommunication technology, which he uses as the Chairman of the House Advanced Communications and Information Technology Committee.

Meeks is married, has a daughter and attends Springhill Baptist, where he serves as a Sunday School teacher.

For the past two years, he has worked a side job as a pizza delivery driver for a pizza chain in Conway. Meeks said a lot of people like the idea that their representative is not “above” working a minimum wage job, is willing to work for extra money and knows what it is like to have to go to work.

Rep. Meeks also operates the SkyDome Portable Planetarium system. Since the 1990s, he has taken telescopes to local school/scout groups to get students interested in science.

Two years ago, he was able to get the planetarium and now travels to schools/scout groups in Arkansas and neighboring states with the planetarium, telescopes, meteorites, NASA material and more.

You can learn more about this effort at ArkansasSky.com.

Rep. Meeks serves on the Education Committee, but with the Skydome and other programs he said he's personally involved in making a difference for students.

In the legislature, he's leading an effort to revolutionize how state agencies use data. This effort will make government more efficient, easier to work with, save tax dollars, and create new public/private partnerships that will create job opportunities, Meeks said.

"We are in a position to become national leaders with this effort," he said. "We hear about security and data breaches all the time."

Meeks is also working to create Cyber-Security resources and accountability to make sure state and local government (that don't often have IT resources) are properly equipped to protect people's data.

State school funding levels are set by an eight- to 10-member subcommittee of the Education Committee. Because of Rep. Meeks' leadership and years studying how school budgets work, he's worked his way into a position where he will have the opportunity to give Faulkner County schools a voice on the subcommittee for the first time in more than a decade.

He is the only Faulkner County Representative on the Education Committee and, if defeated, the opportunity will be lost and it would be years before another Representative gained the knowledge and seniority necessary to be selected, Meeks said.

“Due to your support our district is now number one in seniority in the General Assembly," he said. "Through hard work, this has allowed me to move into a leadership position and take advantage of this historic opportunity for our communities. I've endeavored to be the representative you deserve, by staying true to the values you elected me to uphold.

"In doing so, I've become one of the top-ranked conservative lawmakers by watchdog groups. I humbly ask for your vote to keep Faulkner County No. 1 in the General Assembly and invite you to my website (www.stephenmeeks.org) where I report to you on the work I'm doing, share state news releases, and seek your feedback.”