Redistricting, Northwest Arkansas and a Booming Population

Know how you will be governed over the next 10 years

Rarely does anything last for ten years in the world of politics. Presidential Administrations, Members of Congress, Governors, and State Legislators come and go in that amount of time. 

The one certain thing that does endure for ten years in politics is the process of redistricting.

At the beginning of the 89th General Assembly in 2012, Benton County was represented in the State Senate by Senators Jim Hendren, Bart Hester, and Cecile Bledsoe, which happens to be the current representation for our County in the Senate today. The Benton County delegation to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012 consisted of Dan Douglas, Sue Scott, and Jim Dotson serving their first terms in the House. Representatives Skip Carnine, Jonathan Barnett, Duncan Baird, Debra Hobbs, and Mary Lou Slinkard rounded out the Benton County delegation.  Of all these House members mentioned, only Jim Dotson remains in office today.

Northwest Arkansas’s Population Growth Creates Additional Legislative Seats

In September the Arkansas Board of Apportionment received population data from the United States Census Bureau for the purpose of drawing new legislative districts for the State of Arkansas.  Benton and Washington County are unique in that they will be the only counties receiving additional legislative seats, primarily based on the rapid population growth of this region.  No other part of the state will pick up additional seats, as most other regions in Arkansas have either maintained their existing population or lost substantial population.

Existing Benton and Washington County legislative districts will become more compact as new districts will be added.  The rest of the legislative map in Arkansas will likely expand in size. We now have Senate Districts in South Arkansas that go from the Louisiana line to Southwest Little Rock, and you can expect those districts to get even bigger this time around. House districts in East Arkansas will cover multiple counties and could take in more geographic area than some Congressional Districts.

How does Visit Rogers fit in? 

Visit Rogers is one piece of a larger pie. We serve the Destination Marketing arm of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce (RLACC). RLACC strives to represent all of Northwest Arkansas (NWA) making us a better place to do business, live, and play. 

The fast pace of growth in NWA has provided many benefits to the area and Visit Rogers. Not only does it mean more representation in the legislature for our metro a larger population means we will attract more interest from restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venue developers. That improves our visitor product, which will aid in us attracting additional visitors helping to grow our local economy. As the local economy grows more jobs are created, which is an incentive for people to relocate here. That in turn lifts the population further and the cycle continues feeding itself. 


Jon MoranJon Moran is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the Rogers Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. He joined the Chamber staff in January 2015 after serving twelve years under Mike Beebe in his roles as Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas.

Luke WigginsLuke Wiggins is the Director of Sales for Visit Rogers and the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. He joined the staff in Fall of 2017 after working for another Destination Marketing Organization in Northeastern Kansas and a hotel complex in downtown Kansas City.