ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — We take a closer look at competitive races that will impact Northwest Arkansans on Election Day, November 3, 2020.

State House District 89 is in Washington County and covers the Springdale area. Members serve two-year terms with term limits of no more than 16 years in either or both legislative chambers throughout their lifetime, per Ballotpedia.

House of Representatives District 89

The state’s 89th State House District is represented by Rep. Megan Godfrey (D). Jed Duggar (R) is running against the incumbent.

Megan Godfrey

Megan Godfrey represents District 89 since 2019 and her term ends on January 2021.

Godfrey has a bachelor’s from the University of Arkansas and a master’s from Loyola Marymount University.

She is working the the curriculum/instruction Ph.D. program at the UofA and is Fayetteville Public Schools Co-Director of English Language Learning.

Jed Duggar

Jedidiah “Jed” Duggar was raised in Springdale and is a local small-business owner, according to his campaign website.

He is, “pro-life, pro-business, pro-family, and is committed to putting Springdale’s conservative values first,” according to his website.

Duggar’s parents are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and known for a reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” that aired from 2008 to 2015. His is Jim Bob and Michelle’s 10th biological child of 19.

KNWA/FOX24 asked both candidates three generic questions

  • Briefly, what are the issues you feel need to be immediately addressed within your district, for example, roads, water systems, environment, community safety?
  • When the pandemic hit, in hindsight, what are the first three steps that need/should be done to protect people, in your opinion?
  • Overall, what can Arkansas do to improve its economy?

RESPONSES

Jed Duggar: As Springdale’s State Representative, I will work toward tax reform and reducing government bureaucracy. I will work to allow taxpayers to keep more of what they earn and support small business growth and development. We must promote a culture of racial and ethnic inclusion that values the life of each person from unborn to the elderly. I will continue to support our veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders. We must give them the tools and appropriate training to do their jobs with honor, dignity, and respect. I promise to listen, learn, and lead.

It’s sad that the majority of deaths in Northwest Arkansas have occurred in ethnic and racial minorities while they make up a small percentage of our community. We must do a better job reaching each citizen with language-appropriate resources and education to prevent further spread. Understanding the essential benefits of masks and social distancing will benefit our overall health during this unprecedented time.

Arkansans understand the value of hard work and the dignity that comes with providing for our families. That’s why I believe that if you’re willing to work, you should be able to keep more of your hard-earned money. Unfortunately, our state still has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the country, and while we have made great strides in that area, there is much more that can be done. As the next state representative, I will work to provide tax relief for hard-working taxpayers and small business owners in Springdale and across our state.

Jed Duggar, State House District 89

Megan Godfrey: We continue to see Springdale families affected by the COVID-19 crisis, not only health-wise but financially as well. I have worked to help my constituents get unemployment assistance, rent relief, food insecurity, and better public health communication, and these are the policies our community needs their representative to continue to champion.

Springdale has seen a disproportionate COVID-19 impact, particularly among our Marshallese and Hispanic communities. I immediately advocated for timely and culturally responsive communications for these Springdale families. I wish the public health guidance for social distancing mask-wearing had come sooner, and I believe we should have immediately created a multi-state purchasing consortium to get more test kits, sooner, at a lower cost.

As Springdale businesses continue to struggle through the pandemic, we need to find innovative solutions that are pro-business and pro-health, such as the new Springdale outdoor dining district that I championed. Helping families keep money in their pockets through emergency relief measures will help the economy, too. For the future, Arkansas can ensure quality jobs by focusing on education, skills development, a culture of innovation, and a fairer tax structure.

Megan Godfrey, State House District 89