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OPINION: Holiday Greetings From Elected Folks To You, The Voters

December 22, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

It is always a mixed bag when a columnist writes the elected officials an email -- even asking them for a simple holiday greeting for you, the voters.

Two weeks ago, every member of the area delegation in both the state Senate and state House of Representatives was sent a simple email asking for a holiday greeting reply intended for you, the voters.

Most of them get a "way to go, high five, thumbs up and wink from Santa Claus" as a sign of good stewardship and holiday cheer.

A few, whose names are at the bottom of this column, made the "naughty" list and ought to be looked at by you, the voters, as 'bad," "rude" or just a little "contrary" about answering back to you, the voters.

But let positivity rule. So here we go, words from the elected officials to you and yours for the holidays:

State Rep. Robin Lundstrum of Elm Springs:

"As we close out this year, we remember the ones we have had to say goodbye to and are grateful for the little ones we have who joined our families and make us laugh.

"Each of life's transitions is a constant reminder of how very precious and fragile life is and why I find such joy and hope in Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate. From the Lundstrum Family to yours, may you have a joyous and blessed Christmas!"

State Sen. Jim Hendren of Gravette:

"Merry Christmas from my family to yours. I am so thankful for this time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. I'm also grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Benton and Washington County for the last 16 years in the Arkansas legislature.

"We live in a great state and wonderful country. I've seen nowhere that compares with the beauty and quality of life that we have here in Northwest Arkansas. I hope each of you has a wonderful holiday season and look forward to continuing serving you as your state senator in 2022."

This comes from state Representative Charlene Fite of House District 80:

"The weary world rejoices...the song tells us. Certainly, the world is weary.

"Yet all around District 80 I see reasons for joy. Individuals and small businesses give generously to purchase gifts for needy children. Local law enforcement officers sponsor Shop With A Cop. Bernice bakes pies every day and gives them to anyone in need of a smile. Teachers show special patience toward overyearexcited children.

"We don't have to look far to see acts of kindness and generosity.

"My prayer for you this Christmas is that you can set aside your world weariness and experience the joy of this miracle season: Emmanuel, God With Us.

"Let us remember that joy is not the absence of suffering, but rather the Presence of God."

And this short greeting from state Rep. Gayla McKenzie of Gravette:

"As we approach Christmas and the time for year end reflections, I'm so thankful to God for His many blessings and for the gift of His precious son, Jesus.

"Thank you for the opportunity to represent you. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and blessed 2022! We are truly blessed."

And a message from state Rep. David Whitaker of Fayetteville:

"We have faced two years of unprecedented difficulty in Arkansas, from the pandemic to the economic woes that came with it. This year, as more and more Arkansans get vaccinated, and as our small businesses come roaring back, it finally feels like we are coming back into our own as a state and as a community.

"As we have faced these difficulties, you have led brilliantly and compassionately. Thank you for showing our neighbors, both young and old, that when one Arkansan is hurting, we all are, and that being Arkansas tough means we don't give up, even in the toughest of times. Thank you for showing up for one another.

"It continues to be the honor of my life to serve as your State Representative. This Christmas, I hope that you truly find comfort and joy with friends and family. Lisa and I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year."

The naughty list, for not responding for 2021, includes state senators Bart Hester and Gregg Leding and state representatives Denise Garner, Nicole Clowny, Delia Haak and Megan Godfrey.

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