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Rep. Tippi McCullough reelected as Arkansas House minority leader

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Arkansas House
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Rep. Tippi McCullough of Little Rock said Democrats will focus on legislation to improve mental health services. She will remain minority leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives until 2024.

State Rep. Tippi McCullough of Little Rock has been reelected as the Arkansas House of Representatives minority leader for the state Democratic Party. She was first elected to the position in 2020 and will remain as minority leader until 2024.

"I’m honored to serve my colleagues in the state House as their minority leader,” McCullough said in a press release. “Our Democratic state representatives are effective and strong public servants working for a better Arkansas for all our families, students, and workers. I look forward to building on the success of my first term as minority leader and to growing our membership in November."

Despite the Republican Party having a large majority, McCullough said her party can still influence legislation.

“I don’t know about anybody when trying to pass a bill or anything that doesn't want 22 votes. Especially when there’s bigger issues that come up whether it’s the highway tax plan or ARHome, which is the Medicaid expansion plan,” McCullough said in an interview.

In March, Rep. Matthew Shepard, R-El Dorado, was re-elected as speaker of the House. McCullough said she is proud of the relationship she has with Shepard even if the two don’t always agree.

“I have found him to be very fair and very measured. He communicates pretty well with our caucus, he listens and makes himself available,” McCullough said.

One of the issues House Democrats will work, she said, is mental health. She added that Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants to improve mental health services and school safety, and that is an issue Democrats and Republicans could work together on.

In addition to McCullough’s reelection, Democratic Party leaders voted to make Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff as whip, which is responsible for getting members to vote for legislation supported by the party.

Grant Tennille, chair of the Arkansas Democratic Party, said the leadership chosen will help the party move forward.

“We are the party who puts economic development, quality of life, and strong families first. We are the party who puts our country first. I’m excited about the good work to come as we build a healthier, safer, fairer, and brighter Arkansas,” Tennille said.

Currently, Democrats have 22 seats, while Republicans have 78 seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives, according to ballotpedia. With redistricting, every legislator is up for reelection this year. McCullough faces Libertarian Ashton Winklemeyer for her seat in District 74, which includes Hillcrest.