SPRINGDALE — Rebecca Burkes of Springdale, an attorney and real estate developer, will run for the new District 11 state House seat as a Republican, she announced Tuesday.
Burkes, 53, is a former deputy director and general counsel for the Arkansas Department of Heritage who is the chief operating officer of the Specialized Real Estate Group of Fayetteville. She is a founder of The Burkes Company, a residential and commercial real estate development, construction and brokerage firm.
District 11 includes part of downtown Springdale from Washington County into southeastern Benton County, including part of Lowell. Rep. Megan Godfrey, D-Springdale, announced she won’t run for reelection after her district lost much of the rest of downtown Springdale, where many of her supporters live, when new legislative district lines were approved Monday.
The state Board of Apportionment redraws legislative district boundaries every 10 years after each U.S. Census with the goal of equalizing population among districts. The board consists of the sitting governor, attorney general and secretary of state.
“My experience in state government has shown me the need for strong conservative leadership in the Legislature,” Burkes says in her announcement. “Small business and entrepreneurship are the backbone and lifeblood of this region, and I will fight for lower taxes and against the red tape that limits and burdens these businesses,” her statement says.
Burkes grew up in Richardson, Texas, according to her announcement. She holds a master’s degree in operations management from University of Arkansas and a law degree from Baylor University, her announcement says. She’s married to the chief executive of the Northwest Arkansas National Airport, former state Rep. Aaron Burkes, R-Lowell.
House members run for two-year terms. Their base salary is $39,399 a year, not including per diem and expenses.
Candidate filing for partisan primaries begins Feb. 22 and ends March 1. Party primaries will be May 24.