State Representative Monte Hodges (D-Blytheville) announced his campaign for the First Congressional District on Wednesday with stops in Blytheville, West Memphis and Jonesboro. According to Hodges’ team, his campaign is focused on voting rights, investing in the Delta and its infrastructure, representing farmers and transforming the “flawed” criminal justice system.
“I’m running for Congress because I see a future for the Delta where our children don’t have to leave home to find opportunities; where the jobs we do have pay good wages; where our towns are not shrinking – but blossoming,” said Rep. Hodges at a prayer breakfast campaign send-off in Blytheville.
As a five-term state legislator, Hodges’ helped usher in a $1 billion economic development project that has turned his native Mississippi County into one of the top steel producers in the nation; expanded healthcare to more than 200,000 working Arkansans; and helped progress criminal justice reform in the state.
“I see a future, where the steel we produce in Mississippi County is used to build the next bridge over the Mississippi River in West Memphis – and prevent debacles like the emergency shutdown of the I-40 bridge last year,” Hodges said at a press conference in West Memphis, joined by Mayor Marco McClendon, Senate Minority Leader Keith Ingram (West Memphis), Crittenden County healthcare advocate Ramona Taylor, and Rep. Reginald Murdock (Marianna).
Rep. Hodges is embarking on an eight-day campaign tour reaching every county in the district. The tour began with a Prayer Breakfast in his hometown of Blytheville, a press conference at the site of the previously shut down I-40 Bridge in West Memphis, and a kick-off event in downtown Jonesboro. Hodges will travel through the heart of the Delta, meeting with folks in historic places like Elaine, then into the Ozarks area, with a final event in Harrison.
“This part of the country is iconic. The Delta – our people, our food, our music and our culture – has shaped the world. Our nation’s history has deep roots in this part of our country, the Delta, and there is rich potential here. But Arkansas has the lowest voter turnout and voter registration rates in the nation. This is the campaign that’s going to turn that around and get people to the polls. We’ve seen it in Georgia, and we’re going to see it here in Arkansas. That’s what I want voters to know about me. I’m keeping my focus on representing ALL of the people, on fighting for the First District,” Hodges told supporters in Jonesboro.
Monte is senior vice president of Commercial Lending at Southern Bancorp Bank in Blytheville. He was born and raised in Mississippi County in Northeastern Arkansas and is a 1990 graduate of Blytheville High School. He received his A.A. degree from what was formerly known as Mississippi County Community College (MCCC)- now Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC)- and his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics and Finance from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
He is currently serving his fifth term in the Arkansas House of Representative for District 55 (now 34). Monte was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the Budgets and Revenue Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for the 2017 – 2018 biennium. He was also elected during the 93rd General Assembly as the 2021-2022 Chair of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus (ALBC).
Monte served a total of nine years in the United States military and has been a prison ministry volunteer with the AR Department of Community Corrections, Luxora, Arkansas Unit for more than 20 years. Monte has received numerous awards and recognitions, but the two he’s most proud of, is that of husband and father. He is married to Rhonda (Morris) Hodges and they have one thirteen-year-old son named Jeremiah. Monte and his family attend Wellsprings Church in Blytheville and he is also an ordained minister.
Launch Tour Major Events:
● Wed 5th, Launch Day Prayer Breakfast (Blytheville), Press Conference (West
Memphis), Kick-off Event/Fundraiser (Jonesboro)
● Thurs 6th, Complete Trip Down The Delta Corridor To The Louisiana line In
Just two days
● Fri, 7th, Little Rock Kick-off Event/Fundraiser RESCHEDULED // Highlighting the
new parts of the district (east Pulaski, Jacksonville/NLR)
● Sat 8th, Elaine Townhall-Picnic-Voter Registration
○ Sat 8th, Gillett Coon Supper
● Sun 9th, Church Services in the Delta
● Mon 10th, Northeast Arkansas Towns & Into The White River
● Tues 11th, White River Towns & Into The Ozarks
● Wed 12th, Buffalo River, Ozark Lake Communities & Final Day Rally (Harrison)