Ward 1 Alderwoman Thelma Walker is seeking a fourth term on the Pine Bluff City Council in a primary race against challenger Milton Jenkins.
Both are running as Democrats. The Rev. Jesse Turner has said he intends to run as an independent in the November General Election.
Walker serves as the chairwoman of the Pine Bluff City Council Economic Development Committee. As a private citizen, she operates the Pine Bluff Adult Day Care Center.
“Because I live and work in this city, it is of the utmost importance that legislation of the council be legal, beneficial and not partial to anyone because of race, color or creed,” Walker said in a press release announcing her intent to seek re-election. “I bring eight years of experience in city government and a renewed commitment to complete those projects which have already been approved by the voters of this city.
Walker said she has always stood for what she believed to be right and what is in the best interest of Pine Bluff.
“Specifically, I am for our youth and senior citizens,” Walker said. “I am asking the citizens of this city to allow me the opportunity to complete this project. The multi-purpose center for adults and our children, with an indoor swimming pool, will become a reality. Our children must learn to swim. I am committed to giving our youths and senior citizens that which is long overdue. The multi-purpose center with indoor swimming pool and a splash park is only the beginning. Please join me in this most important endeavor.”
Jenkins is an ordained minister. He is president of the Community Empowerment Organization and works as a health and life insurance agent.
“It is my belief that if the 1st Ward is to be better, those of us who reside in the 1st Ward must see it in our best interest to pray and work to make it better,” Jenkins said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “The Bible states in Proverbs 29:18 where there is no vision the people perish — something that is occurring in my view in the 1st Ward. The question could be asked: Why is the 1st Ward perishing? I believe it’s partly because of a lack of vision and actions coming from our elected officials in the 1st Ward. Those same individuals elected to office in the 1st Ward also lack the commitment and necessary involvement in the 1st Ward which will truly make the 1st Ward better.”
Jenkins graduated from 34th Avenue Elementary School and Southeast High School. He lived in Chicago, where he was involved in a variety of community activities, from 1969 to 1999 before returning to Pine Bluff.