Keidra Burrell, a Pine Bluff lawyer, became the second Democrat to announce a challenge to Republican incumbent Sen. Trent Garner of El Dorado.


Garry Smith, a former state representative from Camden, announced earlier for their seat, which covers Union and Calhoun counties and parts of Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson and Ouachita

Burrell said on Facebook:


Burrell, 40 a practicing attorney and business owner, is a native of New Orleans and resides in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

She issued the following statement:

“My husband and I made an intentional decision to raise our family in the great state of Arkansas and we have truly loved our time here appreciate the awesome sense of community that we have established. After encouragement from constituents throughout the district, I have decided to enter the race for the betterment of not only the district but for the entire state. I am passionate about many of the issues affecting Arkansas.”

Burrell is a graduate of the University of Miami, Florida, with a Bachelors of Art degree in International Science with a Spanish concentration and Political Science. She obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from Tulane Law School, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is licensed to practice law in Arkansas as well as Texas and Louisiana. Her work experience includes practice at the prestigious law firms of Deutsch, Kerrigan and Stiles of New Orleans and Lemle and Kelleher, of Shreveport, Louisiana, prior to being appointed as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Northwest Region of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in Shreveport, Louisiana.


Upon her arrival to Pine Bluff she served at the Chief of Staff/Assistant to the Mayor of Pine Bluff. Burrell is committed to improving education, investing in our youth, economic development and healthcare for the district, all of which she believes will improve the quality of life for the people within District 27. “As a small business owner of two child development facilities, I see the need for universal pre-k for Arkansas youth. I support economic development through small business development and expansion. I also understand the need for affordable and accessible healthcare within our state. These are the kitchen table topics voters in my district care about.” said Burrell.


Burrell is also extremely involved in the community and her church. She served on the Economic Development Steering committee for Go Forward Pine Bluff, CASA Women’s Shelter and the United Way of Southeast Arkansas. She is a member of PB Aviation Commission, the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Foundation Board, and is a Court Appointment Special Advocate for Children through the Voices for Children.

Burrell is married to Dr. Roy Burrell and is the proud mother of three beautiful children. They attend New Life Church in Pine Bluff.

Garner is one of the loudest mouths in the Senate. He’s a foe of gun safety legislation and emerged this week as a naysayer on a new push to regulate vaping. He’s spent much of his time ranting about Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, pushing for the judge’s removal from the bench for participating in a religious observance on Good Friday several years ago, the same day he ruled (properly) in a property rights case over drugs Arkansas had obtained through illicit means to carry out executions.