Politicians and community board members proclaim a calling to be a public servant, or a life purpose to make the small town life “a better place.” As a common thread, Newport’s Charles Landrum exuberates love of community and the people he serves. Born and raised in Newport, Charles is a 1998 graduate of Newport High School and remains vested in the community. After graduation from high school, Charles continued his education at Arkansas State University Newport, and later ASU in Jonesboro and majored in History.
Currently, Charles works as the Director of Grants and Community Management for Congressman Rick Crawford. Politics is not only part of his career, but his passion. He loves to help the communities of the 1st District which he serves. He spends much time commuting to the district office in Jonesboro. However, Landrum covers 12 other counties for the Congressman, which makes living in his hometown great. According to Landrum, “It is an easy commute, except when the weather does not cooperate.” When asked about his first job, Charles laughs and inquires if I remember the Bonanza restaurant. As he tells me about his job there, we both laugh as I try to envision him there as a grill cook.
When asked about what he loves about his hometown, Charles explains that he loves that it is small, easy to maneuver and the people are “down to earth and very real. Newport is a great place to live and the people who live here have big hearts.” A Newport upbringing influenced his outlook on life. “I always try to do right by anyone I deal with. A person will never truly prosper from doing wrong by friends, employers or the community, especially when it comes to doing wrong by breaking the law. There is never a good reason to go down that road. It doesn’t matter the excuses used to justify doing wrong,” states Landrum. When asked about a person who influenced him growing up, he recalls his uncle, James Davis. “My uncle ‘Pork Chop’ taught me more life lessons that anyone,” states Charles.
When time allows him away from his many responsibilities, Charles loves to fish and frog hunt. He follows high school football, especially his hometown Newport Greyhounds. I asked Charles about where he sees himself in 10 years. He smiles as he explained his desire to work in community or economic development, especially Newport.