As part of tonight’s Maumelle Candidate Forum, each candidate was asked to submit biographical information to be used as part of their introduction by Neal Moore.
Because of time constraints, this information was edited and condensed down into more manageable chunks for the forum but are printed in their entirety below. They’ve been lightly edited and formatted for publication.
The submitted bios are below and grouped by race, then candidate.
Jodie Mahony is a 26-year resident of Maumelle, originally from El Dorado. He is a proud graduate of Catholic High School in Little Rock. Jodie attended Hendrix College, worked as an accountant, and then went back to attend school at the University of Little Rock where he graduated with a degree in communications. Jodie is a co-owner of two small businesses including Mayhaw Publishing LLC, and Hilt Publishing, Inc., which produces real estate magazines in Central Arkansas. for over 20 years.
Jodie is a former lobbyist for Developmental Disabilities Providers Association (DDPA), Easter Seals, Cerebral Palsy, Friendship, Arkansas Enterprises for the Developmentally Disabled, and Pathfinder, among others, in Arkansas and Washington. For many years, He has worked with state senators, state representatives, and the state of Arkansas to pass laws to increase
opportunities for the developmentally disabled community. He is a longtime Rotarian and has experience teaching at Academics Plus Charter High School (now Maumelle Charter High School and is a former board member of the UALR Dean’s Advisory Council, Pulaski County Master Gardeners, and Vice President of Wolfe Street Foundation (which works to create a positive environment for recovery.)
The Mahony family has long standing ties to serving not only Central Arkansas but all of Arkansas as well. Jodie is proud to say that he has raised 5 children in Maumelle. and participated in numerous community and sporting activities. Currently, Jodie and his wife live on Lake Willastein where they are afforded the opportunity to interact with the Maumelle Community on a regular basis.
Caleb Norris, who was elected to his first term as mayor in 2018, was a member of the Maumelle City Council and served as Maumelle’s first ever full-time elected City Attorney.
The Maumelle Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Mayor Norris for re-election. Under his leadership, law enforcement officers and firefighters received their largest pay raises in decades.
Mayor Norris is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and UALR School of Law.
He is a three-time president of the Maumelle Lions Club, a member of the Rotary Club of Maumelle, a graduate of the Maumelle Citizen’s Police Academy and Maumelle Fire Academy. He and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 14 years and have two sons: Caleb, 7, and Joshua, 4.
My name is David Cole and I am running as a candidate for Maumelle City Council in Ward 1, Position 2. My David Cole and his family and I have lived in Maumelle for the last seven (7) years which has been our home since moving here from Texas. Cole and his wife, Stephanie have been married to my wife Stephanie for almost eighteen years and they have three children. Our family owns and runs a small business catering to the growing and vibrant homeschool community in Central Arkansas. Cole has been involved in the insurance industry for almost twenty years and has continued my career in the industry since becoming a resident of Arkansas. Cole has been a volunteer coach for our Maumelle youth sports over the years and our family and attends Summit Church.
While this is a non-partisan race for Maumelle City Council, I believe it is important to highlight the fact I am a conservative and will maintain my conservative values as a member of the city council. As we deal with a difficult economy throughout our community and State I will prioritize reducing local tax burdens on citizens when able, further work to increase pay and support to our first responders, support ongoing upgrades and to our city services and infrastructure, and finally, to provide more opportunities and incentives for local small business.
As a candidate for Ward 1 my priority is to provide consistent conservative leadership and representation for our Ward 1 residents as well as all residents of Maumelle. I have and will maintain an independent platform free from the influence of outside interest groups. I have not and will not accept any political donations or contributions from individuals or any special interest groups, at any time. My campaign has been funded solely by myself, and if elected as your Ward 1 Councilman, I will not be accepting any payment or salary from the City of Maumelle. I look forward to providing the residents of Ward 1 and all of Maumelle an opportunity to be represented by conservative ideals, ethical leadership, and full transparency. I love The City of Maumelle and the people here and look forward to being your Councilman for Ward 1."
Christine Gronwald is a twenty-two-year seasoned professional in nonprofit fundraising and marketing. She has held instrumental management level positions with organizations including Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute (CARTI), Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and EAST Initiative. In these roles, Christine managed budgets, crafted strategic plans and performed data analytics.
Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She also earned her MBA with an emphasis in Business Marketing. She has served as Chapter President of the statewide Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Arkansas Chapter and mentors young professionals.
She is a member of the Maumelle Philanthropists as well as the All-Inclusive Playground committee. Christine lives in the Country Club of Arkansas with her husband, Jason and two daughters, Zoe, 15 and Gigi 13 and four fur babies, Rizzoli, Cody, Sadie and Ruby. She attends First United Methodist Church in Maumelle. Christine and Jason are proud to have Zoe and Gigi attend local public schools Maumelle Charter High School and Maumelle Charter Middle School. The family enjoys outdoor activities such as gardening, cooking, outdoor activities and walks at Lake Willastein.
Brandon is a born and raised native of Maumelle. Before attending UAMS College of Pharmacy, Brandon spent his childhood attending Arkansas Baptist School System and enjoying year-round involvement in FUMC church basketball and Rolling Oaks baseball leagues. He would go on to work 6 summers at the Maumelle Community Center Pool, where he enjoyed the opportunity to teach the “Under 5 year old” swimming classes.
Following graduation, Brandon attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to study Biochemistry and spent 1 semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland where he would discover his passion for pharmacy. Throughout pharmacy school, Brandon worked at Argenta Drug in North Little Rock and met the love of his life, his future wife and fellow pharmacist-to-be Kaley. and they married in May of 2016
Brandon and Kaley now co-own several independent community pharmacies across central and rural eastern Arkansas. To date, they have helped to establish and continue the unique access to locally owned pharmacy care in 13 communities. He and Kaley attend Central Hope Church in Little Rock and spend most of their free time trying to keep up with their beautiful 10-month-old daughter Savvy and her mini-aussie Gus
John J. Pack is a proud candidate for the Arkansas State House of Representatives, District 71. He is a lifetime resident of Central Arkansas and currently resides in Maumelle.
As a fleet manager in a Fortune 500 company, John is responsible for a large group of employees and physical resources. He is a member of the US Army National Guard and has served for approximately 13 years with a tour of duty to the Middle East.
John J. Pack He is a father and a grandfather who is running for the Arkansas legislature to improve life in Maumelle and the surrounding communities of District 71. He wants to bring more jobs with better benefits to Central Arkansas. John supports lower taxes, safer neighborhoods, and improved salaries for Arkansas educators.
John J Pack is a patriot and committed to be the voice for all citizens of Central Arkansas. John appreciates your support and votes.
Aaron Raatz is an airline pilot, I have two flight instructor jobs in central Arkansas, I’m a Flight Engineer for the Air Force Reserve, I’m a substitute teacher for the Pulaski County Special School District. I’m married, I have four kids and four dogs. I’m running for State Representative for District 71 as a Libertarian.
Sheriff Eric Higgins has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. Eric Higgins was first elected as Pulaski County Sheriff in 2018.
Higgins previously served for over 30 years with the Little Rock Police Department retiring as an Assistant Chief of Police.
Sheriff Higgins has worked hard in reaching out to the community by creating events such as commemorating the Agency’s “200 Year Anniversary” with a free community event to celebrate 200 years of serving the community. “Supper with the Sheriff” and “Coffee with a Cop” to help familiarize Pulaski County with him and his staff. Under his leadership, PCSO has partnered with AT&T Arkansas and the Arkansas Food Bank to place “Patrol Packs”, three days’ worth of non-perishable food in every patrol car. These food packs are given to members of the community who may have a need when they encounter deputies.
He has also partnered with Life Abundant Ministries and CityServe to assist in distributing food throughout Pulaski County. With the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an even greater need to assist individuals in our community. Through these initiatives, PCSO has distributed over 400 food packs and several thousand pounds of food. Sheriff Higgins has also established the PCSO Community Advisory Committee.
In his first term, his office Sheriff Higgins has obtained over $2,000,000 in grants. These grants enabled PCSO to implement in-car cameras and Body Worn Cameras in the patrol division and in the Detention Center. He was also able to implement a re-entry program in the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility to reduce recidivism and re-established the JR. Deputy mentoring program.
Sheriff Higgins was the first law enforcement leader in the state to implement a “Duty to Intervene” and “Prohibiting Chokeholds” policies. He was instrumental in obtaining support for legislation that requires all Arkansas law enforcement agencies to conduct annual “Duty to Intervene” training. Increased annual training for all deputies from 16 hours state requirement to 48 hours.
He served as an instructor at Arkansas Baptist College for six years and was the Director of Outcomes Assessment with the National OK Program and a managing member of SOF Solutions LLC consulting, and was a volunteer with the re-entry program, The Exodus Project – Out for Life.
He is a member of the Volunteers in Public Schools (ViPS) Board, the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration Alumni, and the Leadership of Greater Little Rock Alumni (Class XXIII). He also serves as Vice President of the Governing Board of Lisa Academy Public Charter School.
Eric He grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Catholic High School. He earned a B.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies: Government and Business and a M.A. in Human Services: Executive Leadership and Counseling from Liberty University.
Eric and his wife Caron have been married for 31 years and are members of St. Mark Baptist Church. They live in Little Rock and have two daughters.
Paul "Blue" Keller is a native Arkansan, currently serving as the Deputy Commissioner/Director of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Arkansas Insurance Department. After serving 23 years in the United States Army, Blue retired as a Lt. Colonel. His primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was Special Forces with a Secondary MOS as Foreign Area Officer. He has a Masters in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and a second Masters in Secondary Education from UALR. During his tenure as the Defense Attaché in Malawi, Uganda, and Mozambique, Blue he served as the Special Political-Military Advisor to the Commander of the American Joint Task Force and acted as a primary negotiator/liaison with the Government of Uganda for the US military support during the Rwandan Crisis of 1994 and again during the Rwanda/Eastern Zaire Crisis of 1996.
While teaching and coaching at Arkansas Baptist High School, Blue volunteered and was selected into the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Reserve program and proudly served as a reserve deputy from December 2011 - July 2012. He was then hired as a full-time deputy and attended the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, where he served as the Class Leader. After graduation, he was assigned to the Enforcement/Patrol Division. Blue was named Officer of the Month for April 2014 and received a Traffic Enforcement Award in May 2014.
(Please visit his website www.bluekeller4sheriff.com to see full resume.)