Kayla Applegate, a Maumelle lawyer and small business owner, will run for the Democratic nomination for House District 39, currently held by Republican Rep. Mark Lowery, who fended off a challenge in 2018 from retired teacher Monica Ball, 54-46.
From her release:
“I’m running for State Representative so that families in our district have a leader who listens and is on their side,” said Applegate. “I am running to ensure that every single child has the same opportunities that I had to a high-quality public education and that they are prepared for and in charge of their future. During my career I have fought insurance companies who denied health care to hard-working Arkansans who paid their premiums, and as State Representative I’ll fight to protect access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
Applegate said during her career as an attorney and small business owner, she has gained insight into how everyday Arkansans are affected by actions at the state legislative level, on issues including access to affordable health care; economic development; criminal justice reform; and particularly public education. “I have seen how laws can affect my clients and my community both negatively and positively, so I have unique insight on which laws work and which don’t. Through that, I have learned so much about the common struggles that unite us.”
“If there is anything that being an attorney has taught me, it is how to compromise for the benefit of all,” she said. “While that often means not every side gets everything they want, sometimes finding common ground and solutions that work for the benefit of many is the best result. I promise to reach across the aisle and work with all of my fellow representatives to get meaningful legislation passed for the benefit of Arkansans.”
Applegate was born in North Little Rock and grew up in Sheridan. Her father is a disabled U.S. Army veteran who later became a small business owner, and her mother spent her career working for public-school districts. Applegate earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Her honors and awards include being named a Mid-South Super Lawyers Rising Star for three consecutive years (2017, 2018 and 2019). In 2016, she was recognized in Little Rock Soirée Best Lawyers – Business Litigation.
The district covers Maumelle and some neighboring unincorporated communities.