Another candidate has entered the race for city council in Pine Bluff’s Ward 2. On Oct. 29, Lloyd Franklin, Jr. told family and friends he would be vying for the position against former council member George Stepps.

“As a life-long resident of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, I am committed to seeing my beloved hometown continue to move forward,” said Franklin. “On top of my civic duties, I want to be more involved in making that happen thus the reason I am announcing my bid for council member representing Ward 2. In 2016, I ran for this same seat and although I won in the primary my campaign lost momentum in the runoff.”

The same day Franklin made people aware of his decision to run, current Ward 2 council member Win Trafford endorsed his campaign. Trafford took to Facebook to express his support by posting a status accompanied with a picture of the pair smiling as they stood next to one another. The endorsement came just days after Trafford made the decision not to seek re-election.

“Attention, Pine Bluff voters!,” he wrote on Facebook. “As many of you know, I am not seeking re-election to my Ward 2 council member position. I am, however, very happy to announce that I am 100% endorsing and fully supporting Lloyd Franklin, Jr., who after much thought and through our many conversations over the last few months has graciously agreed to run for my current seat on our city council. I believe he will be a positive voice on our city council.”

Franklin is certainly no stranger to the world of politics. In 2010, he was elected to the Jefferson County Quorum Court as a justice of the peace for district five and remained in that role for three consecutive terms. He served on the Youth and Recreation, Buildings and Grounds, Judicial, Public Safety/Emergency and Health and Welfare committees. During his time on the court, he was also appointed as the chairman of the Education Committee.

“Over the past few months, I’ve had many discussions with Trafford and council member Glen Brown, Jr., about my decision to run for city council and what I hope to do as a member if elected to the seat,” Franklin said. “I believe the experience gained on the Quorum Court will serve me well as a member of the Pine Bluff City Council. Pine Bluff is the heart of our county and I want the voters of Ward 2 to know that I will represent them to make our city a better place to live.”

Franklin says if elected to the council, his focus will center on three main things—- public safety, infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services to promote an environment that attracts and retains businesses.

“Those priorities are what I believe will assist our great city in continuing in a forward moving direction,” he said. “Equipped with the working knowledge of how government functions and practical experience, I believe that I am in the best position to lend my knowledge and experience to meet the challenges of our city head on.”

As a local business owner of Delta Computer Experts and a Pine Bluff native, Franklin says he’s committed to his community.

“The upcoming election is about electing strong business minds that have clearly defined priorities and can work together to make them a reality,” he said. “It’s about taking the focus off politics and putting it on effective government. This campaign is about offering Pine Bluff something they’ve wanted for a long time—- a new way forward, another choice that just makes sense and the absolute confidence that their elected leaders will make decisions based solely on what’s best for Pine Bluff.”

Franklin earned his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He also graduated from Leadership Pine Bluff and is a member of the Democratic Central Committee. Through his membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., he mentors young men as part of the organization’s Kappa League, educates youth on technology advancement through his computer business and donates his time to various service projects that cater to the needs of the community including clothing and food drives.

“This is not a decision I made lightly and I am glad that I have the endorsement of current Ward 2 councilmen Win Trafford and Glen Brown, Jr. along with significant bi-partisan support,” Franklin said. “I will be announcing my steering committee and other members of my team soon. However, I want to take the opportunity to personally thank councilman Trafford for his endorsement of my candidacy and confidence in my ability to represent the interest of the constituents of Ward 2 as he did with a focus on good government not party politics.”