State Representative Charlene Fite has announced that she will seek re-election to the seat she first won in 2012.
Fite represents District 80, which includes parts of Washington and Crawford County.
In the 92nd General Assembly, Fite is serving her second term as Chairman of the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Military and Legislative Affairs. She is on the Judiciary Committee; Energy Committee; and Legislative Council. She also is a member of the Supreme Court committee on Child Support Reform, and is on the Infant and Child Mortality Review Panel.
During the most recent legislative session, Fite was lead sponsor of 15 bills that were signed into law. These include the Mental Health Bill of Rights for Individuals Who Are Deaf; a bill reforming the Juvenile Justice System for the state of Arkansas; bills strengthening laws against domestic violence; bills making needed changes in the foster care system; a bill protecting first responders working accident scenes; and bills improving school safety.
For her work in the House of Representatives, Fite has been recognized with awards from the Department of Defense; AR National Guard; Family Council; AR Coalition Against Domestic Violence; AR Association of the Deaf; AR Interpreters for the Deaf; AR Prosecuting Attorneys Association; AR Hearing Aid Dispensers; Municipal League; AR Chamber of Commerce; and Advocates for Children and Families. Fite was named Woman of the Year by Women’s Own Worth for her advocacy for victims of domestic violence.
Fite is retired from Fort Smith Schools, where she was a special education teacher and a school psychology specialist. She was previously Education Director for AR Easter Seals and was a missionary in Taiwan for eight years. She received her Bachelor’s in Education of the Deaf from the University of Tennessee; her Master’s in Special Education from the U of A; and did post-graduate work at Northeastern Oklahoma State, U of A, and UCA. She is also a graduate of Taipei Language Institute in Taipei, Taiwan.
Fite and her husband are members of Heritage Church in Van Buren where she is a soloist. She is on the board of Bost Development Center; Crawford County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); and is on the Advisory Board for Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. She and her husband Tom have 5 children and 7 grandchildren.