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Jonesboro, AR – November 12th, 2019 – Jonesboro attorney Jim Burton officially filed on Friday to run for District 58 State Representative as a Democrat. Burton, a native of Northeast Arkansas, received his B.A. with honors at ASU in Jonesboro. After earning a master’s degree at the University of Memphis and receiving his law degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1976, Burton returned to Jonesboro where taught in the College of Business at ASU for two years before opening the Burton Law Firm in 1978.
“I have watched our city grow from a small college town to the economic hub of Northeast Arkansas. Jonesboro’s growth was a result of taking a practical approach that was less about partisanship and more about working together, something we continue to need as our pace of growth increases.” Burton has served on numerous boards and civic clubs including the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Craighead County Bar Association, Knights of Columbus, Jonesboro Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Second Judicial District Jail Advisory Board and represented the City of Jonesboro in the 1990 annexation that helped give the city its present balanced zoning and appearance.
Burton, who served as City Attorney and Prosecutor from 1985-1990, has long been an advocate for public safety in Jonesboro and co-chaired the successful effort to secure emergency funding for Jonesboro Police and Fire in 2010. He pointed to the need for added preventative measures to help reduce the current crime problem and to his experience as city prosecutor to advance changes in the laws to reduce crime and to dissuade people from drug crime and other offenses. “As a State Representative I will work for legislation that will focus on reducing repeat offenders both by changes in the laws and by encouraging programs to help offenders from returning to criminal activity. For those who refuse to follow our laws and endanger our city and our families, we need a more effective justice system to get those people off our streets,” Burton noted. Burton added that he would support measures that made closed-circuit cameras in high crime areas and investigative technology more affordable to local law enforcement agencies.
As State Representative, Burton said continuing economic development and bringing better paying jobs to Jonesboro will be a primary focus. “We need to work together to encourage and seek technology and medical industry jobs here in Jonesboro. We are blessed to have a great university in Arkansas State and a robust medical community as necessary foundations for these careers. By increasing accessibility to university, technical and medical educations, we can improve our ready to work population in Jonesboro and attract sustainable quality industry,” Burton stated. “I believe it is further necessary to support continuing Medicaid expansion and affordable healthcare, so that an always healthy population can join in Jonesboro’s success in the future.” Burton added.
“This election is about the future of Jonesboro, a place we are proud to call home. Together, we can do so much good and it starts with returning our focus to advancing whatever elements of progress we can. Having lived here over 40 years, I think most people in Jonesboro are, like me, moderate in their opinions and tired partisan politics. Jonesboro needs someone to speak for it in the House who is willing to work with others, regardless of party, for Jonesboro’s betterment,” Burton stated.
Jim Burton and his wife Gerry, a retired teacher, are longtime members of Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro. They are parents to Amy Craft Hobbs and grandparents to two grandsons, Tyler Burton Hobbs and Connor Matthew Hobbs.