Cald­well fa­vored for Delta po­si­tion

El Dorado News-Times - - Health & Wellness - By Frank E. Lock­wood

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will nom­i­nate a Lit­tle Rock man to lead the Delta Re­gional Au­thor­ity, the White House has an­nounced.

Chris Cald­well, 38, is di­rec­tor of spe­cial projects for U.S. Sen. John Booz­man, a Repub­li­can from Rogers, and man­aged Booz­man’s 2016 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

If con­firmed by the U.S. Se­nate, Cald­well will serve as the fed­eral co-chair­man, the re­gional au­thor­ity’s top job. The po­si­tion, pre­vi­ously held by Demo­crat Chris Masingill of Lit­tle Rock, has been va­cant since late July.

Booz­man, who rec­om­mended Cald­well for the post, said his aide will be an ef­fec­tive leader.

“Chris shares the DRA’s com­mit­ment and vi­sion for im­prov­ing eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity in the delta re­gion. He has a pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers, a strong sense of duty to the re­gion and an un­der­stand­ing of what it takes to bring eco­nomic growth to our com­mu­ni­ties. Plus, he is as tena­cious as they come,” Booz­man said Wed­nes­day in a writ­ten state­ment.

A sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion Arkansan, Cald­well will be “a tire­less ad­vo­cate and an as­set to the en­tire delta in this role,” Booz­man added.

On Wed­nes­day, Cald­well said he welcomes the op­por­tu­nity to serve.

“I’m just hon­ored and so ex­cited to have the op­por­tu­nity to work for the ad­min­is­tra­tion and hum­bled to have the con­fi­dence of the pres­i­dent,” he said.

Cald­well de­clined to com­ment on pol­icy mat­ters; pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees gen­er­ally avoid do­ing so be­fore their con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings. But he ex­pressed op­ti­mism about the fu­ture.

“I look for­ward to be­ing able to help do great things in the Delta,” he said.

The agency, which awards mil­lions of dol­lars in grants each year, “fos­ters lo­cal and re­gional part­ner­ships that ad­dress eco­nomic and so­cial chal­lenges to ul­ti­mately strengthen the Delta econ­omy and the qual­ity of life for Delta res­i­dents,” its web­site states.

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