Benton consultant runs for Arkansas House seat 2023

Ken Yang, a Benton Republican political consultant, said Monday that he is running for an Arkansas House of Representatives seat in Saline County.

In an interview, Yang, who has worked on local and national elections, said he would prioritize limiting government expansion and defending parental rights if elected. In March, District 83 state rep. Lanny Fite, R-Benton, announced his retirement.

“Now more than ever, we need bold, conservative leaders at the State Capitol — someone who will stand up to the woke mob and against Biden’s attempt to drive his liberal agenda down the throats of middle America,” Yang stated in his candidacy announcement. “I will be that leader.”

American Dream Strategies LLC, led by 34-year-old Yang, has advised state lawmakers on their campaigns. He launched the firm in 2014 after losing the Arkansas state auditor election. Yang was director of governmental relations for Arkansas Family Council and worked for Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns.

Former ARCCCA president and Saline County Republican Committee chairman.

Yang, a first-generation Taiwanese immigrant, is delighted to share his tale. Yang’s parents immigrated to the US in 1983 after fleeing China following the Communist Revolution.

“To run for office once was an honor, and to be called to do it again is unbelievable.” “I live the American dream every day,” Yang remarked Monday. Republicans say America is the greatest country in the world, and we are. I can only run for office in America.”

Yang said he will prioritize tax cuts, including the state’s used-car sales tax, if elected. He supported state income tax elimination.

During the regular legislative session, lawmakers dropped Arkansas’ top individual income tax rate from 4.9% to 4.7% and the top corporate income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.1% retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

In her first legislative session, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders prioritized income tax reduction, education, and criminal justice reform.

Yang claimed he would reject “woke left” initiatives and support giving parents more school information as a state lawmaker.

“I think parental rights is a huge deal right now,” Yang remarked. “Parents want to know that, like school choice, I can influence what’s good for my kids. I should know whether you’re bringing a human rights campaign or LGBT club to school.”

Fite, 73, said he had spoken with three other people seeking his seat in an interview Monday. Fite, who declined reelection to spend more time abroad and with his family, said he would not endorse a contender.

WellFi Health CEO Chris Dickie pondered running for House District 83 as a Republican but won’t.

Bailey Morgan, Saline County Democratic Party chair, said Monday his party was not ready to announce House District 83 candidates. Morgan said the party wants to fight all seats in the 2019 election.

In an email Monday, Arkansas secretary of state spokesperson Chris Powell announced the 2024 election cycle’s unofficial dates: March 5 for the preferential primary election, April 2 for the primary runoff, Nov. 5 for the general election, and Dec. 3 for the general runoff.

The cycle’s unofficial party filing period is Nov. 6–14, 2023. Powell said they expect a cycle schedule by summer’s end.

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