As part of Senate District 3, Arkadelphia is represented in the Arkansas Senate by Republican Steve Crowell of Magnolia.
Crowell’s district includes all of Columbia, Lafayette, Nevada and Clark counties, and parts of Hempstead, Pike and Hot Spring counties. Each Senate district contains about 86,000 Arkansans.
Crowell defeated incumbent first-term Sen. Charles Beckham (R) of McNeil also in Columbia County by 219 votes in the 2022 Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election. Crowell failed to carry Clark County, where he lost by 486 votes.
Going in to the election Crowell had served on the Magnolia City Council since 2015. Before being elected to the city council Crowell had served in an appointed position on the city planning commission.
Crowell and his wife Laura are parents of four children ages 23, 18, 9 and 7, and own SL CROWELL PROPERTIES LLC, which he described in a campaign interview as a business that managed residential, commercial and forestland properties and had plans to build a subdivision.
Crowell indicated he desired to devote full time to his Senate position and had hired a manager to fulfill his company responsibilities so he would be available to the citizens of the district.
Press reports during the campaign reported that despite what his opponent, Charles Beckham, thought was a supportive voting record, Crowell was supported in his election bid by political action committees of The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas. The organization declined to give a reason for supporting Crowell instead of Beckham. Crowell said it was because they knew him to be a conservative who will help lower taxes, improve education and work on our future workforce and keep government from being involved in businesses.
While both candidates ran as Christian Conservatives the campaign highlighted differences between the two with Crowell taking stances that would allow for exceptions to abortion bans to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Crowell additionally expressed support of school vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools since he believes in freedom of choice as long as proposals did not have unintended consequences. While supporting vouchers to fund private schools he urged the state to look at providing the best education in each school district. In support of low-income people who need assistance Crowell said he does not believe the Medicaid expansion program should be eliminated although the people who abuse the program should be held accountable.
Throughout his campaign Crowell stated that his top priorities would include fighting for the agriculture industry, training the workforce and drawing high-paying jobs to the region as well as getting children reading at grade level.
The District 3 freshman legislator began his term on January 9 when the Senate convened the 2023 session with 29 Republicans and six Democrats. Crowell is one of 13 new senators in the largest freshman class since 2011.
Senator Crowell is the Senate co-sponsor of HB 1090 which would separate the offices of Sheriff and Tax Collector in Hempstead County. The bill has been assigned to the Senate City, County & Local Affairs committee and is on the committee’s agenda for Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 10 a.m.
Senate leadership has assigned Senator Crowell to the following committees:
Joint Budget – Special Language – Vice-Chair
Revenue & Tax – Senate
Arkansas Legislative Council
Legislative Joint Auditing
State Agencies & Governmental Affairs – Senate
Categories: Region & State