5 Questions: Pat O’Brien & Scott Pace

13 May

Secretary of State candidate (and Pulaski County Circuit Clerk’s office savior) Pat O’Brien and State House District 31 candidate Scott Pace are the latest to take part in BHR’s 5 Questions series.

Check out the responses from the candidates and continue to see why we endorse their respective candidacies.

5 Questions with Pat O’Brien (AR-Sec. State)

1. You have widely been credited with restoring credibility at the Pulaski County/Circuit Clerk’s office following years of mismanagement. What specific things did you learn in this process that will translate to success in the Secretary of State’s office?

The biggest challenge in Pulaski County was to change the culture of the Clerk’s office. That involved intense training and accountability. We ruffled feathers along the way. I understand better now how difficult it is to change entrenched habits, good or bad. In short, I am a better leader than five years ago.

2. How would you rate the performance of the current term-limited Secretary of State, Charlie Daniels? How will your approach differ and what challenges do you see ahead?

I believe Charlie Daniels has done a good job. However, he came in during a time of immense change. Particularly, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) had to be implemented. I will have the opportunity to be more proactive right from the start of my term. I also want to add value to the office by serving as an Ambassador for Arkansas who promotes the good things we are already doing.

3. Which attributes are most important for voters to consider when electing their public officials?

A voter should look for someone with a proven record of leadership. That record should include private sector experience and government experience. The two worlds differ but the diversity of experience is a big plus. In addition, voters should demand open and accountable government.

4. Who do you look up to in politics? Why?

There are two main figures – Bobby Kennedy and Dale Bumpers. Bobby Kennedy had a passion to serve and an ability to transcend his times. Dale Bumpers was a principled man that was not afraid to vote against the majority if he believed in an issue. I have met Dale Bumpers many times and I wish I could have met Bobby Kennedy.

5. Beyond your family and public service, what thing(s) are you passionate about?

I love the Razorbacks! On a more serious note, I believe in America. This is a place where anyone can succeed if they work really hard and play by the rules. I believe we are unique in the history of the world. We reward the underdog. I love the underdog.


5 Questions with Scott Pace (State House Dist. 31)

1. In your opinion, what is the single biggest issue facing District 31 right now? What specific steps will you take to address this problem?

Growing our economy. District 31 is a very large and diverse district, including Roland, west Little Rock, southwest Little Rock, Mabelvale, Paron, Lonsdale, Alexander, Hot Springs Village, and part of Benton. But regardless of the area of the district that I am in, people are concerned about keeping jobs in Arkansas.

I will work to help foster entrepreneurship in Central Arkansas which will help stimulate small business growth, I will work on revamping Arkansas’s redevelopment district model to help encourage new development, and I will support expanding the Governor’s Quick Closing Fund to help recruit new business into our state.

2. What do you consider to be the greatest strength of the person you would replace in office, Republican Dan Greenberg? How will you take the office in a new direction if elected to succeed him?

Dan has been very good at constituent service, and I applaud him for that work. I will certainly work very diligently to address all the issues that constituents may have.

I will take the office in a different direction by being accessible to all constituents by having regular public forums during the legislative session. I believe that government works best when office holders are regularly connected and engaged with their entire constituency and I will work hard on doing just that.

3. Your campaign website touts your experience as a pharmacist — why do you feel this experience gives you an advantage over your opponents?

Being a pharmacist is important for several reasons. First, it has taught me how to empathize with and communicate with people during challenging times in their life, a skill that is extremely useful in politics. Second, pharmacists deal with large volumes of complex information and must make decisions quickly, another skill that is important in politics. Third, as a pharmacist, I understand both the clinical aspects of healthcare and the financial aspects of healthcare; this allows me to have a unique perspective when addressing healthcare policy decisions.

4. Who do you consider to be your political heroes?

My grandma and my dad. Granny was involved in county politics for as long as I can remember. She wanted to see good people serve their community, and she modeled my brother and I the importance of being involved. Whether it was working a polling place on Election Day or helping a candidate, Granny taught me that every person is important in politics.

Dad taught me a lot about sacrificing to serve the community. When I was in elementary school, he ran for county coroner in Greene County. The office paid very little and had big demands, but dad wanted to serve because he simply believed he was the best person to help the community. He taught me a lot about what it means to serve unselfishly.
At the national level, the people that have influenced me the most are the politicians who truly connected with people and that would be Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. While their politics were often very different, they both understood the importance of making a personal connection with someone, regardless of similarities or differences. I respect that a lot and I try to make that same type of personal connection with every voter I meet.

5. Beyond your family and public service, what are you most passionate about in your life? Why?

Being educated.

I was taught at an early age that having an education is the key to any opportunity you want. Knowledge truly is a powerful tool. So I have worked hard obtaining my education. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Arkansas State University, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UAMS, and I will graduate with a Juris Doctor degree from the UALR Bowen Law School this month. I’ve borrowed a lot of money and worked very hard to obtain my education, but that’s ok, because I am very passionate about having a good education, and I am proud that I was able to obtain all of my education through Arkansas’s public schools. I want the same opportunity to be available for my children and for any child in Arkansas.

In addition, I’m news junkie, so I am constantly reading news websites and blogs to stay up to date on current affairs. I’m always trying to be educated on something!


One Response to “5 Questions: Pat O’Brien & Scott Pace”


  1. Tweets that mention 5 Questions: Pat O’Brien & Scott Pace | Blue Hog Report: Arkansas's Source for Progressive Politics -- Topsy.com - May 15, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Blue Hog Report. Blue Hog Report said: BHR Week In Review: Five questions with @PatOBrien4AR and Scott Pace. http://bit.ly/cez38m […]


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