Billy Gipson, also of Monette, will be leaving office this term, due to time-limit constraints, and Fletcher announced last year that he would seek to fill the legislative position. Fletcher has been the only Democrat to date announcing for the position, running against Republican candidate Ray Kidd, Jonesboro businessman.
"I decided last week to give it up and stay right here where I am," Fletcher said. "I just couldn't get myself motivated, as I am so happy here with what I am doing. I would have to give up too much to do justice to serve as a state representative.
"I have studied the legislative process and saw the terrible tension in that environment. My view of the state government, at this time, is not very good.
"I love working as the Craighead County Veteran's Service Officer in Jonesboro. At first I thought I could do the representative job and my veterans' work but came to discover that the representative work would consume me at different intervals and not leave me enough time to do justice to working with veterans and widows. That was when I took stock of what was most important to me, and made the decision not to run."
"My son Andy is here and will graduate from nursing school next year," Fletcher said. "I don't want to miss any time with him. Also my brother, Royal, lives here and we are together all the time. My family is here, my roots are here, and I want my future to be here.
Fletcher said he felt Monette is making much progress and its future never looked brighter. He said as mayor, he has helped to make improvements in the town and has dreams of doing much more in the future.
"We have a great city council and city staff, which makes my job so much easier.
We have made many park improvements, with more to come," Fletcher said. "We are making improvements in the water system and business people are getting motivated. This always attracts developers to the area.
"When I evaluated all I would be giving up to spend so much time in Little Rock, it simply was not worth it," Fletcher said. "I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me since I withdrew from the race. Now I can get back doing what I loved to do in the first place."
Fletcher is very connected in Craighead County, having close friendships with other mayors and county officials. He serves on the planning committee proposing a county-wide transit authority, works the Buffalo Island Leadership, and is a Mid-South Delta leader, working with representatives from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana on Delta issues and economic development.
After Fletcher graduated from high school in 1960 he joined the Air Force and made a career of it, retiring in 1989 and returning to Monette. He worked for the Buffalo Island Central school system for three years as a bus driver and substitute teacher, and has worked as a Veteran's Service Officer for 10 1/2 years. He is serving his second term as Monette Mayor.
While away from Monette, Fletcher worked at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., served in administration in Tehran, Iran, Bedford, England and Stuttgart, Germany and also lived in Everett, Washington, Chicago, Sattlebrook, New Jersey, and Denver, Colo.
"There is no place that looks any better to me than Monette," Fletcher said. "This is home and this is where I want to invest my time and my life."