VOTE 2018: Lucas Regnier to run for Fayetteville City Council in Ward 3

Lucas Regnier / Photo: Stephen Ironside

An instructor at the University of Arkansas School of Law recently announced plans to run for City Council this year.

Lucas Regnier, 44, hopes to occupy the Ward 3, Position 1 seat currently held by Justin Tennant, who recently announced he will not seek a third term in November.

“I have told the mayor I want to stay very active in the city after my term is over because like all of you Fayetteville is a part of who I am,” Tennant said in a statement to city officials and council members. “I feel proud of our accomplishments over the last eight years and know that our best days are still to come.”

Regnier teaches upper level contract drafting and a course he designed entitled Representing Startups at the university in Fayetteville where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1997. He obtained a Juris Doctor cum laude from Tulane Law School in 2001, and practiced law in New Orleans until returning to Fayetteville in early 2010. He has lived in Ward 3 since that time, and recently moved into the Huntingdon subdivision.

Regnier said he hopes to bring the knowledge he acquired as a practicing lawyer and law instructor to the Fayetteville City Council, where a key goal of his will be the development of Fayetteville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Meet the Candidates

The following candidates have responded to a request from the Fayetteville Flyer for more information about their candidacy in the Nov. 6 election.

Ward 1
Sonia Gutierrez
Kris Paxton
Olivia Trimble

Ward 2
Martin Bemberg
Raymond Burks
Mark Kinion

Ward 3
Lucas Regnier
Sloan Scroggin

Ward 4
Adam Fire Cat
John La Tour
Teresa Turk

Regnier began his career as a litigator in New Orleans before moving back to Fayetteville where he practiced primarily corporate and business law at Harrington Miller in Springdale. His practice ended with a bicycle accident in July 2015, which resulted in a major spinal cord injury and significant peripheral nerve damage that left him partially quadriplegic. He was able to walk again after months of physical therapy, but Regnier said his recovery in ongoing.

“Physical rehab never stops,” said Regnier. “It’s a way of life now.”

As a former avid cyclist, runner and golfer, Regnier said he now enjoys reading, gardening and good coffee.

Regnier is married and has four children in the Fayetteville Public Schools district. He has served on several district ad hoc committees, incorporated the Parent Teacher Organizations of McNair Middle School and the Fayetteville Virtual Academy, and is the incoming president of the Woodland Junior High PTO. He is a member in the Fayetteville Downtown Rotary and is on the board of Canopy NWA and Friends of Fayetteville Forests.

In his official press release, Regnier said he is campaigning on building an indoor aquatic facility in Fayetteville for competitive swimming and diving team practices and events, along with therapeutic and recreational components. He said he wants a closer working relationship between city officials and the school district to address future planning and present needs.

The filing period for City Council candidates begins Friday, July 27 and runs through noon Friday, Aug. 17.

Profile: Lucas Regnier

Position sought: Ward 3, Position 1
Age: 44
Residency: Fayetteville resident since 2010
Employment: Visiting Instructor at the University of Arkansas School of Law
Education: Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Arkansas; Juris Doctor cum laude, Tulane Law School


What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?

A lot of factors combined all at the same time, and I’m not sure any one of them is decisive. A big part of it is the desire to serve and give back to the community that was so generous and helpful to my family after my accident. Another was the realization that if you want the world around you to be a better place, you have to put yourself forward and lead.

Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 3? How would you describe that part of town?

We love all of Fayetteville. There’s no neighborhood where we would not reside, and no school where would not gladly send our kids. That said, and without in any way detracting from any other neighborhood, there’s a special warmth and community here. We watch out for each other, we take care of each other’s kids and pets, we come together on issues. To borrow the theme from Sonia Gutierrez’s campaign (and it’s a terrific theme, by the way!): Ward 3 is friendly, fit, and a lot more funky than people give it credit for.

Are there any recent council decisions you agree or disagree with?

The most recent council decision I would disagree with would be the decision to grant a rezoning request on forested property off of Old Missouri and Rolling Hills drive, allowing for undue density over the unanimous objection of the neighborhood. I do believe, however, that our city council is made up of very smart and very hard-working people, and I respect that reasonable people working in good faith can come to different conclusions.