Add Springdale native Gary Morris to the list of Democrats not ready to give up Northwest Arkansas legislative seats without a fight. Yes, Democrat. Morris had originally announced as a Republican but said yesterday, “I am a convert to the Democratic Party.”

Morris, who lives between Sonora and Goshen on Beaver Lake, has announced for House District 97, a seat currently held by Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger, who’s attempting to jump to the Senate. At least one Republican has announced so far.


The district covers parts of Washington, Carroll and Madison counties. Morris is a Springdale native and a 1970 UA graduate who spent 25 years in radio and television with Donrey Media. He returned to Arkansas in the 1990s, studied for the ministry and worked in Methodist churches in Harrison and Springdale. For the last 12 years, he was a director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. A Vietnam-era veteran, Morris says the guiding principle of his campaign is HOG (honest, open government.)

He’s critical of recent efforts to limit the state Freedom of Information Act; an advocate of an internet sales tax to support local governments; opposes the tort reform amendment as a restriction on the right to a jury trial and a weakening of the checks and balance system of government with its usurpation of court control of rules; and cites better support for rural fire departments as a local issue. He decries the GIF scandal and government by special interest.


Sounds like he might find more welcome on the Dem side of things.