Rex Nelson

Political Editor

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Little Rock

Rex Nelson

You could say Rex Nelson was bitten by the political bug at an early age. As a child growing up in Arkadelphia, he would ask his father to take him to the county courthouse on election night so he could hear the returns being read.

Nelson continues to keep his pulse on politics as political editor of the statewide newspaper during a period he calls "a rare moment in the history of Arkansas journalism."

He also dabbles in radio and television, most notably as weekday host of the "Respond to Rush" program on KARN-AM and as a regular panelist on AETN's "Arkansas Week." During football season, the one-time sportswriter is the radio play-by-play announcer for alma mater Ouachita Baptist University.

Nelson, 34, authored a book last year about the First Lady but says he prefers the "instant gratification" of daily journalism, even though it means contending with what he views as both his greatest strength and weakness professionally.

"I tend to be a perfectionist," he says, "and you never reach perfection in daily journalism."

One manifestation of this, he says, is his insistence on going over the paper "with a fine tooth comb" first thing every morning.