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Special to the News-Times

EL DORADO — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, (R-Arkansas) will be the guest speaker for the annual Rockefeller-Reagan Banquet, set to be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 13 at the El Dorado Golf and Country Club, 101 Shadyside Drive.

Master of ceremonies will be Pastor Iverson Jackson and other speakers will include Doyle Webb, Republican Party of Arkansas state chairman and Bea Grayes, RPA staff member.

Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan who was born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. He graduated from Dardanelle High School before going to Harvard and Harvard Law School. After a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals and a short time in private law practice, Cotton joined the United States Army as an infantry officer, where he spent nearly five years on active duty.

Cotton completed combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served with the 101st Airborne and a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours, he served as a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the unit responsible for military honors funerals. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab. Prior to his election to the Senate, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. and served one term in the House of Representatives.

Jackson is the senior pastor of Zoe Bible Church in Little Rock. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1985 from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and a master’s degree in public administration from Webster University. He is a 1995 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Okla. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve on Dec. 16, 1983 and retired as a lieutenant colonel on Dec. 16, 2008.

Jackson currently serves as the Arkansas president of Ministers Taking a Stand and as the Arkansas representative for the National Black Robe Regiment. He also serves as chair of the Wrightsville Planning Commission, the 145th Street Water and Sewer District and the Quail Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Webb has worked for over 38 years for the Republican Party and has served in several capacities – as a Saline County precinct captain to county secretary and chairman to general counsel of the State Executive Committee.

In 1994, Webb was elected to the state senate as the first Republican from Saline and Perry counties. His committee work included chairman of Joint Energy, vice chairman of State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, Joint Budget, Legislative Council, Legislative Audit, Children and Youth, Judiciary, Efficiency and City, County, and Local Affairs. He also served on the Natural Cultural Resources Council and the Rural Fire Department Study Commission. During his service in the state senate, Webb co-authored the Senate’s Code of Ethics.

Webb served as chief of staff for former Lt. Governor Win Rockefeller from April 2002 through the 2003 and 2005 sessions of the Legislature. He worked closely with Rockefeller during his term as Republican Party chairman and in preparation for running for governor in 2006. Webb holds a juris doctorate (law degree) and a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has practiced law for over 26 years. Webb and his wife, Barbara, reside in Benton.

Grayes serves as the executive assistant for the Republican Party of Arkansas. She comes to the party after 40 years of banking experience. She was in management and managed several banks and owned her own mortgage company. She retired as a mortgage loan officer from Bank of America. She has five children, 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She has been teaching Sunday School for several years and is an ordained minister.

Tickets to the banquet are $35 per person and can be purchased at Ward Veterinary Clinic, Henry Kinslow’s law office or from any member of the Union County Republican Committee. For more information, contact Randy Hendricks, UCRC chair at 870-310-0933 or Kermit Parks at 870-918-7271.

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