Democrat Maureen Skinner announced she will run for Arkansas State Senator for District 35.

“I am a 40 year Arkansan by choice. I’m seeking to represent central Arkansas as State Senator for District 35,” she said. “As a mom, I am concerned with education and health care. As a candidate, I decided to ask the people of the district their concerns, discovering that central Arkansas is also concerned with affordable health care and quality education, as well as economic opportunity and protecting our environment.

“I also believe in the right to earn a living wage and to prosper. I believe the government and those elected to serve should benefit our communities not just be a self serving machine we feed with our tax dollars.

“As a strong supporter of progressive policies that impact our communities, I will fight for quality, debt-free, public education, access to affordable, comprehensive health care, science-based policy evaluation and decision making, technological advancement, economic opportunity and social equality.”

Skinner said that “until 2016, I was only involved in politics at a voting level, spending my time raising kids and working.”

“A lifelong ‘helper,’ I have the good fortune to live and work in Conway as a Licensed Psychological Examiner, providing therapy, specialized mental health services, testing and assessments. I have always felt a natural commitment to service of others; believing in the greater good; and the idealist in me definitely influenced my decision to run for office.

“Realizing that the people of the district were not being heard or represented in a manner consistent with the diversity and multi-cultural demographics of the area, I decided I could do more than just vote, I could, in fact, be the voice, not just of those who look like me but also the voice of the underserved, underrepresented and marginalized.”

Skinner said she refers to herself as a “professional listener and problem solver” because of the work she does as a therapist.

“As a behavioral health scientist, I use data and research to make informed decisions. This practice is bolstered by utilizing resources such as consultation with experts in their fields and collaboration with other professionals to ensure an ethical and appropriate course of action,” she said. “As the Senator from District 35, I will use my professional skills and tools to evaluate and to truly listen to the issues, understanding that there are more than two sides to most concerns.”