Banker Candidate Q&A With Monte Hodges

Meet Monte Hodges, Vice President of Commercial Lending for Southern Bancorp Bank in Blytheville, and candidate for State Representative for District 55.

What inspired you to run for office?

I knew that I was supposed to serve in this capacity after serving one term on the Blytheville City Council. I ran across Matthew 20 in the Bible, when Jesus was explaining to his disciples what true leadership and serving was really about. The one verse that really struck me was the 28th verse. It said the “Son of man didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.” I knew then that it was my obligation to serve and be a voice for others.

Why is it important for bankers to be involved in, and knowledgeable about, politics – particularly at the local level?

I think it’s important for bankers to be involved and knowledgeable about politics, because policy can effect banking in a positive or negative way. I know personally since I’ve been in the state house that we’ve had a couple of banking policies that we’ve had to address. Plus, law makers need to have the expertise of bankers when it comes to understanding their concerns and issues.

You’re running for State Representative of District 55, what importance does service to your community in this capacity have?

Serving in this capacity allows me the opportunity advocate for the things that enhances or hinders the Northeast corner of our state. It’s not one-size-fits-all when It comes to policy making. Of course we want to pass good policies that help all the people of Arkansas, but some parts of the state have unique needs. I live in a rural community, so I really focus on grassroots issues.

Elected officials provide a voice for their constituents...what does that responsibility mean to you?

Providing a voice for my constituents means that I have the responsibility to have their best interest in mind and advocate for their needs and concerns.

What is the importance of voting as a banker, and as an Arkansan?

I always express to people that “Elections Have Consequences.” I say that because electing good people to serve makes a difference in a positive way and electing bad people has the opposite effect. Good politicians can’t get elected if people don’t get out and vote. I think it’s was of our sacred duties is to exercise our right to vote. It our voice!

This Banker Candidate Q&A is a follow-up to the article “From Making Loans to Making Laws,” published in the August 2018 issue of The Arkansas Banker.