William Hanson, an attorney and retired professor based in Hot Springs, recently announced he will be a Democratic Party candidate for the 4th Congressional District in 2020.

The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.

Hanson is a native of Camden whose family has lived in Ouachita County for over 150 years. He recently retired from Chabot College in Hayward, California, where he was an instructor and department chair for the Administration of Justice program and the director of the Law and Democracy Program, according to his campaign announcement.

A valedictorian of his high school graduating class in Stephens, Hanson went on to obtain his bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkley and his law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

"I have spent my career working as a lawyer, educator and a community organizer seeking to empower communities to control their own destiny," Hanson writes. "I believe that Arkansans are ready to work together to find sustainable solutions to the problems that confront us. This campaign will be a catalyst for that work. In this time of so much divisiveness in our politics, we need leadership that is willing and able to reach across party, generational, racial, and economic lines to find solutions to the problems that confront us."

Prior to joining the faculty at Chabot, Hanson worked at Mills College and the Peralta Community College District in Oakland, California. At Mills College he was the assistant director of the Institute for Civic Leadership, a program to advance the civic leadership capacities and commitments of women. At his website, williamhansonforcongress.com, the candidate notes he support laws and policies in the workplace that promote equal pay.

Hanson also states his belief is that healthcare is "a right and not a privilege," so he is in support of "some form of universal coverage (e.g., Medicare for All, etc.) while preserving an option for private insurance." He also supports legislation to lower the costs of prescription drugs.

At his website, the candidate also provides his ideas on reducing gun violence, immigration, food insecurity, support for farmers, education and jobs, veterans and environmental protection.

Hanson lives in Hot Springs with his wife of 33 years, Zaretta Hammond, an educator and author of "Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain." They have two children, now young adults.