By Ed Galucki

Staff Writer

Republican candidate for Senate District 28, state Senator Jonathan Dismang, told Lonoke Area Chamber of Commerce members Oct. 4 that he would never be found on the sidelines of issues. "I can promise you this … I am going to be working for you," he said.

Dismang said that because of the reapportionment of the state, he has found himself campaigning for re-election in a new district. His previous area was District 29, but with the new boundaries he is now in District 28.

While there is some disappointment in the new districts, he remains "excited" about representing communities such as Lonoke.

As legislator, Dismang described himself as a conservative and a Republican. "But first and foremost, I am a Christian," he said. "I am going to represent you with common sense, conservative values," he said.

Dismang said his political philosophy was shaped by one of the first issues he faced four years ago as a new legislator. Farmers found their land being taken by large corporations, "I am a big property rights guy."

One of the first bills he sponsored was an attempt to close the "loophole" businesses were using to take the land, Dismang said.

"What I didn’t know when I walked into that [committee] room was that [committee members’] minds were already made up," Dismang said. It did not matter that the White County residents were there, or what arguments were presented, and afterward he was told not to worry about the result, that "It’s just politics," he recalled.

"That comment made me steadfast and strong in how I want to represent you. I can promise you this, that it is never ‘just politics,’" Dismang said. "It is about folks back home, it’s about you in this room."

The needs of the people he represents would be first, regardless of the issue, Dismang said.

There are many crucial, controversial issues that will be brought up at the next legislative session, Dismang said. "I can promise you this, you will never find me on the sidelines. I am going to be working for you," he said.

In his remarks, Dismang said the Lonoke Chamber is unique. "I am a member of quite a few Chambers all around the Senate District, and this is truly and incredible crowd that you bring together every single month," he said. "It is not replicated anywhere else," he said.