In a new series, Power Couples, Arkansas Money & Politics will introduce you to some of the most interesting and influential pairs in the state of Arkansas. Jessica DeLoach Sabin and Warwick Sabin, both of Little Rock, are our next couple in this series. Click here to read about more Power Couples. To nominate a #PowerCouple, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Arkansans will recognize the names of Jessica DeLoach Sabin, 33, and Warwick Sabin, 41. Warwick, a 2018 Little Rock mayoral candidate, and his wife, whom you’d see regularly on KARK 4 and KATV 7 as a political analyst, are a humble pair devoted to their community.
Jessica and Warwick first crossed paths at the Clinton School of Public Service in 2005. Warwick was asked to speak to the interns and Jessica was one of them. However, it wasn’t until February of 2009 at the Arkansas Literary Festival reception that the two spoke. Soon after, they began dating and in October 2012 they were married in Roland, Arkansas.
Jessica attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and graduated in 2013 with a triple major in political science, theater arts and interdisciplinary studies. After graduating, she attended the Clinton School of Public Service for her master’s in public service.
“I was one of the first interns at the school,” Jessica said. “As I was helping one of the professors prepare for the first batch of students, I remembered thinking ‘I could do this and it wouldn’t feel like work. This is the kind of place that could give someone like me even greater tools to go out and do something meaningful in this world.’ I wasn’t wrong.”
Jessica has been involved throughout the Little Rock community. From serving on the board of the Arkansas Literary Council to the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Junior League of Little Rock, the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted Education to the Arkansas Alternative Energy Commission, Jessica’s time is spread among causes she is passionate about.
Today, she is an adjunct professor at UALR, teaching American National Government, the senior adviser and director of communications at the Democratic Party of Arkansas and a political analyst and strategist. She is a co-contributor for KATV Channel 7’s Talk Business & Politics and KARK Channel 4’s Political Plays, as well as its Sunday morning program, Capitol View.
Jessica said she loves getting to break down complex issues so people are able to decide what they believe and where they stand.
“Words have power and I take what I do very seriously,” she said. “This work requires a lot of critical thinking, a lot of listening and a lot of coffee. A sense of humor is also helpful.”
As for any student or young professional looking for career advice, she said to do what you love, learn how to say no, keep your word and stay open-minded.
“Seek out meetings with people who do things that interest you. Seek out mentors. Expect long hours. Expect disappointment. Know that what defines you is what you put in and not a title that someone else gives you,” she said. “There’s a lot of superficial success that can be distracting and it’s a trap that I see so many people fall into as they work to achieve their dreams. Avoid that and you’ll be all right.”
Warwick attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, graduating with a political science degree in 1998.
Warwick, originally from East Hampton, New York, decided on the University of Arkansas for his undergraduate degree after a campus visit where he met his future adviser and professor, Diane Blair. Blair told him that if he decided on U of A, she would be his adviser and he would have the opportunity to intern at the White House, as Blair was close friends with the Clintons.
“Diane ultimately became one of the most important people in my life,” he said.
In 1995 and 1998, Warwick was an intern at the White House and in 1996 he worked for the Clinton/Gore reelection campaign.
After graduating from the U of A, Warwick was offered the Marshall Scholarship toward a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, which he received in 2000. While at Oxford, Warwick was the speechwriter for U.S. Ambassador Philip Lader.
After leaving Oxford, Warwick worked as a communications director for U.S. Representative Marion Berry in Washington D.C. until 2002, when he moved to Little Rock to work as the director of development at the William J. Clinton Foundation. Since then, he has worked at the Arkansas Times as associate editor, Arkansas Entertainment Television Network (AETN) as a co-host, producer and director of Unconventional Wisdom, the University of Central Arkansas as its vice president for communication, the Oxford American as the magazine’s publisher and at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub as its executive director. Currently, Warwick is the senior director of U.S. Programs at Winrock International in Little Rock and a Democratic Arkansas State Representative. He’s also is running for Little Rock mayor in the 2018 election.
“My career path hasn’t exactly been linear or predictable,” Warwick said. “I have been willing to try new things and take risks, and perhaps the one consistent connection among my professional experiences has been an interest in improving our community.”
Although Jessica and Warwick both work in the political spectrum, they often do not cross paths.
“People who serve in elected office communicate with lots of people every day and they are constantly juggling a number of issues that all require a lot of attention in a fairly short span of time,” Jessica said. “I observe the people who do this and I analyze and write about their efforts and the strategies they employ to achieve their goals. Beyond exchanging ideas and giving advice to one another, we rarely intersect professionally.”
One way the pair ensures they find time to reconnect amid their busy schedules is through dinner and long walks. Their favorite place to walk is Two Rivers Park.
“I treasure my time with Jessica,” Warwick said. “I always make sure that I am home for dinner every evening. Even when I attend events where dinner is served, if Jessica is not with me, I won’t eat until I get home.”
Jessica said that busy schedules are a product of them both doing what they love and they are each other’s support system as they follow where their passions lead.
“Sometimes this takes the form accompanying one another to community events or taking on projects around the house,” she said. “Our most favorite thing to do, however, is travel. But most of our free time together is spent taking long walks.”
Inspired and influenced by each other, Warwick and Jessica’s relationship is built on love, strength and humility. Warwick said he admires Jessica’s high standards, passion, creativity and energy.
“She simply will not settle or accept anything less than what she thinks is appropriate or deserved,” he said. “She is passionate, driven and creative, and her energy pushes us to explore and experience more than what most people would think is possible.”
Jessica said she admires Warwick’s courage, patience and unlimited kindness.
“He is extraordinarily brilliant and is a top-notch problem solver… I cannot overstate how much I appreciate his courage and his willingness to serve others. He’s one-of-a-kind,” she said.
Jessica and Warwick live in Little Rock.