Banker Candidate Q&A
With Hunter Windle
Meet Hunter Windle, Vice President / Legal Counsel for Malvern National Bank, and candidate for Justice of the Peace in Pulaski County’s District 4.
What inspired you to run for office?
Like many people in public service, I had an “If not me, who? If not now, when?” moment. In my case, I was sitting in my neighborhood association meeting at The Oyster Bar when I realized that, while I saw my city director and state representative at least monthly at neighborhood meetings and other community events, I had never seen my county justice of the peace. As someone active in local groups and events on a volunteer basis, that bothered me so I did my research and filed for office.
Why is it important for bankers to be involved in, and knowledgeable about, politics – particularly at the local level?
It’s important for everyone to be engaged in the political process. It’s particularly important for bankers to be involved because banking is such a highly-regulated industry and politics greatly impacts it. But I think bankers should also be involved in politics for another reason – bankers are a resource. We know that community bankers are a huge financial resource to their communities, not only by providing financial services but by sponsoring charity events and ball teams, supporting civic organizations, etc. Of equal importance, bankers are a source of knowledge. Bankers can use that knowledge to help their politicians do their job better, whether it’s helping a local politician understand their options for financing a new fire truck or helping a state or federal representative understand the implications of a proposed law.
You’re running for the office of Justice of the Peace, what importance does service to your community in this capacity have?
I am running for Justice of the Peace in Pulaski County’s District 4 (which includes Downtown Little Rock, Capitol View/Stifft Station, Hillcrest, Midtown, Briarwood, and Leawood). Justices of the peace do more than just marry people. They make up the quorum court which is the county’s lawmaking body. Even though the quorum court has a limited scope of authority, it still serves an important function in administering and overseeing county government and services and setting the county budget. In the case of Pulaski County, that amounts to approximately $100 million each year. I think my legal and banking background will be a benefit to the quorum court which, despite being a lawmaking body with significant financial responsibilities, currently lacks any members with a legal or banking background. It’s even more important that my district has an active, engaged representative on the quorum court and I’m running to serve in that capacity.
Elected officials provide a voice for their constituents...what does that responsibility mean to you?
Being a voice for constituents means representing their interests and opinions which, by extension, requires active leadership – being engaged with constituents, talking with them and being available to them, attending community meetings and events, etc. If local politicians aren’t engaged with their constituents, they aren’t doing their job.
What is the importance of voting as a banker, and as an Arkansan?
Being a regular voter is very important – it’s the basis for our system of government – but it’s even more important to be an informed voter. We need to know who and what we are voting for, and why we are voting for it. Government is a part of our day-to-day lives, and it’s critical that we recognize this fact and do our duty as citizens.