Following 'Mrs. Sheilla' is tough, but rewarding

Playing catch up in anything is stressful but for LeAnne Burch, the circumstances with which she was faced made it even tougher. Following a local legend, Burch just completed her first General Assembly as District 9 representative in the Arkansas legislature.

A retired Army Brigadier General, Burch would likely not even be in the public eye had it not been for the untimely death of former Rep. Sheilla Lampkin, a much-beloved local icon and member of the Arkansas House since 2011—or at least as much as she is now.

But, unfortunately for the many constituents of Drew and Ashley counties who adored “Mrs. Sheilla,” as she was affectionally called, Lampkin succumbed to ovarian cancer in July 2016. Lampkin’s death set off a strange set of circumstances that likely no one, including Burch and the voters of District 9 (regardless of which party they claim), want to endure again. In the November General Election, Burch was tabbed not only to succeed Lampkin but to fill out the remainder of her unexpired term.

“I definitely would not have run against Ms. Sheilla, because I thought she was doing a great job for us and I had so much respect for her,” Burch said Monday. “But maybe another local position? Possibly.

“I believe we all have a responsibility to try to give back and to serve and to make our world better with the talents we have been given. My military retirement in May left me open to consider other possibilities to do this. If Bobby (her husband, who passed away in January 2015) had not died when he did, I expect my life might also have taken a different path.”

For more information on this story, see the April 19th edition of th Advance-Monticellonian

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