Justice of the Peace Bruce Lockett has announced his candidacy for Ward 4 alderman on the Pine Bluff City Council.

Justice of the Peace Bruce Lockett has announced his candidacy for Ward 4 alderman on the Pine Bluff City Council.


Lockett is running as a Democrat. Current Ward 4 Alderman George Stepps has announced that he is running for county treasurer and will not seek re-election to his council seat.


Lockett said in a press release that his top priorities include assisting small businesses by encouraging more start-up ventures, which require a small investment; developing food service businesses; cultivating light manufacturing businesses; and encouraging local residents to start more technology-based enterprises.


Lockett is a grant writer for the Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center, a nonprofit organization in Marvell, a position he has held for six years. In this position he is responsible for writing grants related to community-based programs, health, youth development and community development.


"I have lived in Ward 4 most of my life," Lockett said in the release. "I believe this is a great community."


Lockett said in the release that he believes supporting local nonprofits is crucial to the future of Pine Bluff. He plans to work to leverage city resources to help organizations acquire grants, contracts and technical assistance.


Lockett holds positions on the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Taskforce; Family Community Development Corp.; Delta Citizen Alliance in Greenville, Mississippi; and Dollarway Athletic Booster Club.


Lockett is a 1994 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff graduate, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history, and is a 1983 Dollarway High School graduate. Lockett and his wife, Sonya Bell Lockett, have one son, Shamon Bell, and one grandchild.


Ward 4 encompasses the University Park Neighborhood, the Lake Saracen area and portions of the Dollarway and Westside areas.


Because of recent legislation passed by the Arkansas Legislature, primary elections will be March 1, 2016.