Supha Xayprasith-Mays seeks Democratic nomination for governor in 2022

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier

Supha Xayprasith-Mays has announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022. Xayprasith-Mays is a businesswoman and civic leader, and if elected would be the first woman, person-of-color, and first person of Asian descent to serve as governor in Arkansas. 

Supha Xayprasith-Mays has announced she is running for Arkansas governor on the Democratic ballot.

If elected, she plans to expand Arkansas’ technology centers, specifically focusing on industries related to artificial intelligence and universal broadband for all of Arkansas. She said she will champion efforts to develop a green technology manufacturing corridor in Arkansas that will set an example for the nation.

Xaprasith-Mays, pronounced sai-pri-sith-maze, has lived in Arkansas since she was 6 years old. She and her widowed mother, along with three sisters, fled her native country of Laos due to communist oppression and moved to Northwest Arkansas. She has spent time living in Fort Smith where she graduated from Northside High School, as well as Van Buren and Bentonville. She currently lives in Little Rock.

Xayprasith-Mays began her career in her early 20s, working at the corporate office of Walmart for the People Division in regional personnel. She left Walmart to establish a career as an entrepreneur in multiple business sectors including publishing, business consulting, retail, restaurants, television networks, oil exploration in North Dakota, career empowerment seminars, and several other business interests.

As a result of her entrepreneurial experiences, she believes free enterprise and capitalism are the surest paths for the eradication of poverty.

“My experiences at Walmart taught me that Arkansas has limitless talent among its people; what we need is a government that works with both business and ordinary citizens to prepare Arkansas to take its rightful place as a national economic leader,” Xayprasith-Mays said in a press release.

More:Who is running for U.S. Senate in Arkansas? Meet the candidates.

Xayprasith-Mays has owned a few businesses in Arkansas. In 2006, she launched, I Love New York Fashion, a clothing store in Bentonville. She also opened a restaurant called Siam Palace Thai Cuisine, also in Bentonville. Currently, Xayprasith-Mays is the owner of a media marketing consulting company called  Inclusion Magazine and she is president and CEO of Inclusion Job Inc., a nonprofit.

Xayprasith-Mays' husband, attorney Richard Mays Sr., was a former member of the Arkansas Legislature and a former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice appointed by then-Gov. Bill Clinton. 

James Russel and Anthony Bland, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, have also announced their run for the Democratic nomination. Republicans Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have also declared their candidacies for the nomination for the Republican Party. The political primaries will be held in May 2022.