EUREKA SPRINGS -- The Eureka Springs chapter of the Arkansas Professional Firefighters Association has given its organization's endorsement to Robert "Butch" Berry for state House of Representatives. Berry is the Democrat candidate for District 97.
Jason Morris, chapter president, said the state Legislative Committee decided to endorse Berry in May because of his record of supporting firefighters.
Berry, who has served Eureka Springs as an alderman and mayor pro tempore for eight years, said he was "tickled to death" by the endorsement.
"He's stuck beside us, supported us, and so we decided to return the favor," Morris said.
Berry praised the professionalism and dedication of area firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, and said they had always been faithful stewards of city resources.
He said their work was especially essential in fire-prone Carroll County and the recent drought.
"If a fire started (in Eureka Springs), it could wipe out the town real quick," he said.
He said he would continue to support their work should he be elected in November -- by working with local fire departments to secure grant money, for instance.
Berry has also been endorsed by the Arkansas State Employees Association. Berry worked for the state as the director of capital zoning in Little Rock.
"Being a former state employee, I can certainly understand the situation they've been in," he said.
John Bridges was on the committee that decided to endorse Berry. "(He) was very sincere when we discussed our organization's issues," Bridges said. "He gave me very straight forward, thoughtful answers and I knew then that he really cared about helping his constituents to the best of his ability.
"We believe he will bring common sense to the Capitol and work hard for all Arkansans."