The Democrat wants to represent the state’s first Hispanic-majority district.
Springdale community leader and English as a Second Language educator Diana Gonzales Worthen announced today her Democratic candidacy to represent District 9 in the Arkansas State House. The seat encompasses east Springdale and is the state’s first district to have a majority voting-age Latino population.
The daughter of immigrants, Gonzales Worthen said she has deep roots in Springdale, a community that’s “growing and leading the state on so many fronts.”
“For years, so many of us have worked together in this community to strengthen families and schools, and it has been a joy to watch Springdale emerge as a true state leader,” she said. “My life’s work is access — access to literacy, access to higher education, access to healthcare and mental health resources and access to quality jobs. I would be honored to serve you and continue that work in the legislature.”
Gonzales Worthen ran for the District 7 seat in the Arkansas Senate in 2012. She lost to Republican Jon Woods.
Gonzales Worthen received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Arkansas in 2004, following years of work in Springdale and Rogers public schools as an ESL science teacher. She currently works in the UA system as director of Project REACH, a program where her team teaches online ESL endorsement classes for Springdale teachers and prepares bilingual/bicultural paraprofessionals to become teachers.
In 2009, Gonzales Worthen co-founded OneCommunity, a Springdale nonprofit that works to promote access to education resources, health and mental health resources, and leadership development programming. She is also co-founder of the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas.
The filing period for Arkansas candidates begins at noon Feb. 22 and ends Mar. 1. The primary election is May 24 and the general election is Nov. 8.