There are many firsts this election – including the first Latino Springdale city council member and the first transgender person elected to office in Arkansas.
SPRINGDALE, Ark. — There have been a lot of firsts this election both nationally and here at home.
Including the first Latino Springdale city council member and the first trans person to hold elected office in Arkansas history.
Kevin Flores, an attorney and Marine Corps veteran, is exhausted after a hard-fought campaign but is optimistic about the future.
“I mentioned this a lot during the campaign, but I’m an immigrant, I’m Hispanic, I’m a millennial, but I’m here to represent the entire city,” Flores said.
Flores is honored to be the first Latino elected to Springdale’s city council, something he says is long overdue.
“I don’t mean that in any negative way, that’s just a call to action to other members of communities within our community to become involved and participate in the process,” Flores said.
He plans to be an active member helping to develop projects that will attract more businesses to the area near Arvest ballpark.
“It’s a unique area where there’s a lot of potential, and we just make sure we’re fostering the growth and not getting in the way of any of that progress,” Flores said.
Meanwhile, in Washington County, the first transgender person to ever hold elected office in Arkansas, Evelyn Rios Stafford, stepped down from her position as a member of the Fayetteville housing authority to run for justice of the peace.
“We need people who are really paying attention and looking out and asking the tough questions and being accountable for how their money is being spent. That’s going to be my big focus,” Rios Stafford said.
She says representation matters, and the quorum court should reflect its diverse community.
“Your identity and your dreams don’t have to be separate. You can be who you are, and you can achieve your dreams,” Rios Stafford said.
Kenny Arredondo Loyola, an openly gay Latino, was elected as a Justice of the Peace in Springdale.
If April Legere is elected to the Rogers City Council, she will be the first African American woman to hold a seat.
That race is still too close to call. More than 1,000 provisional ballots are being processed before the results will be announced.