Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson has announced that outgoing Little Rock City Director Stacy Hurst will be his new director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
Hurst was appointed by Hutchinson to his six-person transition team immediately after the November election. She also ran for the state legislature as a Republican seeking the open seat in House District 35; she lost to Democrat Clarke Tucker after a deeply acrimonious race. Hurst and her husband own and operate a Central Arkansas florist, Tipton & Hurst.
“Stacy is extremely bright and hardworking, and she understands the importance of protecting and preserving our state’s incredibly rich history and culture,” Hutchinson said in a statement.
Hutchinson also announced that Dr. Nathaniel Smith will be sticking around as director of the Arkansas Department of Health:
“Smith has done an exceptional job in his current role as director of the Arkansas Department of Health. He has worked effectively with both state and national resources to protect the lives of Arkansans while further improving our health and well-being as a whole, and I am pleased to announce that he will continue to serve the people of our state in my administration.”
UPDATE: A reader points out that some historic preservationists may not be pleased by Hurst’s appointment to run DAH. As a city director, she supported the efforts of the Junior League of Little Rock to replace windows in the facade of the historic building that group occupies downtown, the Women’s City Club building. Preservationists such as the Quapaw Quarter Association opposed allowing the new windows; the Junior League won, with Hurst’s vote.