Author

Sonny Albarado, Arkansas Advocate

Sonny Albarado, Arkansas Advocate

In his 50-year career, Sonny Albarado has been an investigations editor, a business editor, a city editor, an environmental reporter and a government reporter at newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. Most recently, he retired from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after serving as projects editor for 12 ½ years. He got his start in journalism as editor of the Nicholls Worth, the student newspaper at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973. Nicholls awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2014.

COMMENTARY
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks Nov. 30, 2022, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. (Screen grab from YouTube video)

Will Hutchinson’s Reagan-like stance persuade GOP voters?

By: - December 6, 2022

As Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s term nears its end, he’s taking nearly every advantage to polish his presidential bona fides. Just last week, former President Donald Trump gave Hutchinson an excellent opportunity to remind his party, and the nation, that true leaders don’t take meetings with public racists or antisemites. In an appearance on CNN’s […]

COMMENTARY
People visit a makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub on Nov. 21, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On Saturday evening, a 22-year-old gunman entered the LGBTQ nightclub and opened fire, killing five people and injuring 25 others before being stopped by club patrons. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Another mind-numbing mass murder brings reflection

By: - November 23, 2022

Shocked? No. Resigned? Maybe. Numb? I hope not. The slaughter continues. On the heels of two multiple murders on or near college campuses in Virginia and Idaho the week of Nov. 12 comes news of a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs nightclub catering to the LGBTQ+ community on Nov. 19. A gunman entered Club […]

The Arkansas State Capitol dome. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Gretchen Conger to be Sanders’ chief of staff

By: - November 22, 2022

Gretchen Conger will be Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ chief of staff in the governor’s office, Sanders announced Tuesday. Sanders also announced that she will transfer more than $2.5 million from her 2022 gubernatorial campaign treasury to her 2026 reelection campaign and named campaign manager Chris Caldwell as senior advisor to the reelection campaign. Conger, who […]

Image of crowd of transgender and cisgender people

Arkansas’ request for rehearing on gender-law injunction denied

By: - November 16, 2022

A temporary halt on enforcement of Arkansas’ ban on gender-affirming care for minors remains in effect after a federal appeals court on Wednesday denied the state’s request for a rehearing. In August, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s injunction that blocked implementation of Act 626 of […]

COMMENTARY

Arkansas power politics at its most raw and most sublime

By: - November 15, 2022

As an exercise of raw power, a rule change that limits Democrats to two seats on any of the Arkansas Senate’s standing committees likely won’t shake many rafters. But the move did draw reaction from state Rep. David Ray (R-Maumelle) on Twitter:  This is a smart, commonsense move by the Arkansas Senate. Proportional representation on […]

Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Robin Wynne (left) and Faulkner County Circuit Judge Chris Carnahan face off in a nonpartisan runoff election Nov. 8. (Photos courtesdy of Arkansas Secretary of State's website)

Robin Wynne secures second term on Arkansas Supreme Court

By: - November 9, 2022

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robin Wynne overcame a strong challenge from Circuit Judge Chris Carnahan to win reelection to the high court’s Position 2 in Tuesday’s election. Wynne finished with 58.4% of the vote to Carnahan’s 41.6%, according to the Secretary of State’s election results website. With 73 of 75 counties reporting as of Wednesday, […]

John Boozman sails to victory for third term in U.S. Senate

By: and - November 8, 2022

Arkansas U.S. Sen. John Boozman won a third six-year term Tuesday, and if Republicans retake control, he is likely the next chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The Associated Press declared him the winner over Democrat Natalie James and Libertarian Kenneth Cates shortly after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m.  At 9:32 p.m., with 57% […]

Figures merge from pink females to blue males

State begins defense of ban against gender-affirming care for minors

By: - October 21, 2022

This article was updated at 7:35 p.m. Oct. 22, 2022, for minor edits. The trial against Arkansas’ ban of gender-affirming health care for minors recessed Friday afternoon until late November, following a morning highlighted by over two hours of closed-door testimony involving private medical information. Lawyers from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office began their defense […]

COMMENTARY
Image of crowd of transgender and cisgender people

Conway Schools should be embarrassed by anti-trans restroom policy, book censorship

By: - October 14, 2022

The Conway School Board earned a badge of shame Tuesday when it adopted two policies that will harm transgender youth. One policy bans transgender youth from using restrooms not aligned with their assigned sex at birth. Gender nonconforming students made uncomfortable by this rule can opt to use single-use restrooms, but as one person noted […]

COMMENTARY

A chance at unity devolves into political division and recrimination

By: - October 5, 2022

Could the Little Rock mayor’s race come down to how the city administration handled a contract for a party — and how the administration responds to public records requests? The drama that has played out at City Hall, on Twitter and in the media the last three weeks kept getting stranger and stranger as a […]

Federal judge declares parts of state election law unconstitutional

By: - October 2, 2022

Six parts of Arkansas election law are unconstitutional and “impose a severe burden” on “new political parties” seeking to get their candidates on election ballots, a federal judge ruled on Friday. U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker wrote in an opinion and order that the Libertarian Party of Arkansas met its burden of proof in […]

Voters will decide recreational marijuana amendment, Arkansas high court rules

By: - September 22, 2022

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can decide in November whether to make recreational marijuana legal in the state. In a 20-page decision written by Justice Robin Wynne, the high court concluded 5-2 “that the ballot title at issue is complete enough to convey an intelligible idea of the scope and import of […]