With the deadline for candidates to file for the May political party primaries behind them, three of the four members of the Pine Bluff City Council drew opponents in the Democratic primary, and the winner of one of them will face a Republican in November.
On the county side, there will be four contested races for constitutionally established races this May and three for justice of the peace positions.
In Pine Bluff’s First Ward, incumbent Alderwoman Thelma Walker, who is the second-most senior member of the council, will face political newcomer Joni Alexander and Milton H. Jenkins, who has sought the seat before in the Democratic primary. The winner will be challenged by a Republican, the Rev. Jesse Turner, in November.
Ward Three incumbent Alderman Bill Brumett, who is the senior most member of the council, will take on now-retired Pine Bluff Police Chief Ivan Whitfield and former Alderman Glen Brown Sr., who was defeated in 2016 by Alderman Donald Hatchett in the Democratic primary. No Republicans filed for the position.
Ward Four Alderman Steven Mays will face Clarence Edward Davis in the Democratic primary. Davis has previously run for mayor and for the City Council. There are no Republicans running for the position.
Ward Two Alderman Glen Brown Jr., a Democrat, is the only candidate who did not draw a challenger in the primary.
Incumbent Pine Bluff City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott is unopposed for another four-year term. She filed as a Democrat.
On the county side, former Jefferson County Judge Dutch King, who was beaten by current County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV in the 2016 Democratic Party run-off, has filed for the position and will be opposed by current Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson. Wilkins did not seek reelection and no Republican candidates filed for the post.
There will be a three-man race for Jefferson County sheriff in the Democratic Party primary this May. With Robinson stepping down, current sheriff’s department Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr., who was endorsed by Robinson, will be challenged by former deputy Larry Gragg and retired Arkansas State Police Special Agent Roger McLemore.
Both Gragg and McLemore sought the position previously. The winner of the party primary will take on Xavion T. Culclager, a political newcomer who filed as an Independent, in November. No Republican filed for the position.
Two candidates, both Democrats, are running to replace retiring Jefferson County Tax Collector Stephanie Stanton. The two are Leslie Elizondo Mitchell and Tony Washington. No Republicans filed for the position.
The fourth contest will pit incumbent Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley against Christian Westbrook, who was a former deputy coroner. Both are Democrats. No Republican filed for the position.
Jefferson County elected officials who will run unopposed in the Democratic Party primary are County Clerk Shawndra Taggart, Circuit Clerk Lafayette Woods Sr., Treasurer Vonysha Goodwin and Assessor Yvonne Humphrey.
District One Justice of the Peace Morris Caldwell will be opposed by former Justice of the Peace Alfred Carroll Sr. in the May Democratic Party primary. The winner will face Libertarian James Michael Hood in November. District Four Justice of the Peace Mandy Alford will be opposed by former Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson in the May Democratic Party primary. District 10 Justice of the Peace Dr. Conley Byrd Jr. will take on Richard Saucier St. in the May Republican Party primary, and District 13 Justice of the Peace Brenda Bishop Gaddy will be challenged by former Justice of the Peace Edward Spears in the Democratic party primary.
Justices of the peace who are running unopposed in the May Democratic Party primary are Reginald Adams, District 2, Delton L. Wright, District 3, Jimmy Lee Fisher Sr., District 5, Herman Ginger, District 6, Melanie Johnson Dumas. District 7 and Cedric Jackson District 9. Justices of the Peace who are running unopposed in the May Republican primary are Roy Agee, District 8, Danny Holcomb, District 11 and Ted Harden, District 12.
Thursday was also the filing deadline for constables and the following people filed for positions.Ricky E. Billingsley, Whiteville Township, DemocratTurner Douglas Nowlin, Melton Township, DemocratSteve Tidwell, Spring Township, DemocratJohn Thomas, Dunnington Township, DemocratDonald Bolin, Niven Township, RepublicanJimmy Musgrove, Bolivar Township, RepublicanBruce Carman, Richland Township, RepublicanScott A. Dunn, Jefferson Township, RepublicanMichael R. Odom, Washington Township, RepublicanDenarious Woods, Vaugine Township, DemocratRichard DeBill, Barraque Township, RepublicanWilliam Hamilton, Plum Bayou Township, Democrat