The filing period for candidates for the May 22 political party primaries and non-partisan judicial general election begins at noon Thursday at the Secretary of State's Office in Little Rock and locally at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The filing period for candidates for the May 22 political party primaries and non-partisan judicial general election begins at noon Thursday at the Secretary of State’s Office in Little Rock and locally at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
All eight elected positions in county government are up for re-election as are the 13 justice of the peace spots, and all the constable positions.
In addition, candidates for five state House of Representatives and two state Senate positions will file in Little Rock, as will candidates for both the First and Fourth Congressional Districts.
Specifically on the county side, the offices of county judge, assessor, circuit clerk, county clerk, sheriff, treasurer, tax collector and coroner are all two-year terms and as such, candidates must file to retain or gain those positions.
With the exception of County Judge Mike Holcomb, all the current county officials, Assessor Yvonne Hawkins Humphrey, Circuit Clerk Lafayette Woods Sr., County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson, Sheriff Gerald Robinson, Treasurer Elizabeth Rinchuso, Tax Collector Stephanie Stanton and Coroner Chad Kelley have indicated they will seek another term in office.
The only position that has drawn announced opposition so far is that of sheriff, where retired Arkansas State Police trooper Roger McLemore will oppose Robinson. McLemore will run as an independent.
Holcomb has announced he will be a candidate for House District 10 in the state House of Representatives, as have Gene Yarbrough of Star City and Dorothy Hall of Sheridan, who will all be running as Democrats. David Dinwiddie of Pine Bluff has said he will run for the office on the Liberterian Party ticket.
Regarding the justice of the peace positions, so far District 2 JP the Rev. H.O. Gray, District 3 JP Delton Wright, District 9 JP Paul Jones, and District 12 JP Ted Harden have announced so far that they will seek another term.
The other positions on the quorum court and the current office holders are District 1 JP Alfred Carroll, District 4, JP Mandy Alford, District 5, JP Lloyd Franklin III, District 6, JP Dr. Herman Ginger, District 7, JP Vannette Johnson, District 8, JP Cleddie Shock, District 10, JP Dr. Conley Byrd Jr., District 11, JP Sissy Granderson and District 13 JP Edward Spears, although Spears is announcing this week.
Regarding state legislative races, state Sen. Stephanie Flowers so far has opposition by current state Rep. Efrem Elliott for Senate District 5. In Senate District 23, Sen. Jerry Taylor has announced his retirement.
In addition to House District 10, candidates will file for positions in House District 11, District 16, 17 and 18 beginning Thursday.
The District 11 seat is currently held by Elliott, while District 16 is represented by James Word, District 17 by the Rev. Henry “Hank” Wilkins III, and District 18 by Toni Bradford, all Democrats.
Because of redistricting that resulted from the 2010 census, a part of Jefferson County is now in District One of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position currently held by Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, a Republican, while the majority of the county remained in the Fourth Congressional District, currently represented by Mike Ross (D-Prescott), who has announced he will not seek re-election.
There are also 23 constable positions up for grabs this year in the county.
Candidates for municipal offices including the Mayor of Pine Bluff and city council positions will not file until July.