Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TOP STORY >> Ex-legislator to run for Senate

Former State Rep. Sandra Prater of Jacksonville is seeking the Dist. 29 Senate seat held by Sen. John Paul Capps (D-Searcy).

Capps can’t run again because of term limits.

Prater will run as a Democrat. Rep. Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) will run as a Republican.

Dist. 29 consists of parts of Faulkner, Pulaski and White counties.

Prater served three terms in the House for Dist. 42, which includes parts of Pulaski and Faulkner counties

“I believe my six years as a member of the House of Representatives, representing Faulkner and Pulaski counties, and as a former member of the quorum court gives me the insight and experience to serve in the Senate. In addition with my nursing background, I know how important it is to work on issues that deal with our children, senior adults and health care,” Prater said.

While in the House, she served on the Public Health, Welfare and Labor, the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development committees and as chair of the Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Permanent Subcommittee. She was also a member of the Joint Performance Review and the Legislative Joint Auditing Committees.

“I want to continue my legislative efforts to bring opportunities for good health care to the people of Arkansas. Good health care should not be a luxury but a right,” Prater said.

While in the House, Prater was successful in getting legislation passed to have automatic external defibrillators in schools, increased long term and home health care for seniors, additional training for Alzheimer’s, vision screening for children and mandatory reporting of drug and alcohol tests for truck drivers. She also worked to increase funding for school nurses and autism awareness.

In 2007 Prater was named legislator of the year by the AARP and the Physical Therapy Association, advocate of the year by the Advanced Practice Nurses Council and nurse of the year by the Arkansas Nurses Association.

She also received the Champion for Children Award from the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

Prater and her husband, Kenneth, have two children, Kyle and Whitney. They are members of Zion Hill Baptist Church.