Former Pine Bluff mayor Dutch King was one of the first in line Thursday when the filing period began for political candidates seeking county and state offices in the May 22 party primaries, and the non-partisan judicial general election.

Former Pine Bluff mayor Dutch King was one of the first in line Thursday when the filing period began for political candidates seeking county and state offices in the May 22 party primaries, and the non-partisan judicial general election.

King, a Democrat, is one of three announced candidates who are seeking the position of Jefferson County judge that is currently held by Mike Holcomb, who is seeking a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Democratic Party candidates filed in the rotunda of the county courthouse, while Republican Party candidates completed their paperwork at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

King was followed by incumbent Justices of the Peace Mandy Alford of District 4, Edward Spears of District 13, Paul Jones of District 9, and Sissy Granderson of District 11, all Democrats.

Current Assistant Chief of Police Ivan Whitfield, who has also announced his candidacy for county judge, was also on hand to complete his paperwork and pay his filing fee. Whitfield is also running as a Democrat.

The third announced candidate for county judge, current Justice of the Peace Alfred Carroll had not filed by mid-afternoon Thursday.

“Everything went smoothly,” said County Election Coordinator Will Fox, who was manning a table at the courthouse to accept the filing paperwork from candidates. “So far there have been no surprises.”

Others who filed on the first day and seeking re-election in the Democratic Party Primary were Sheriff Gerald Robinson, County Tax Collector Stephanie Glover Stanton, County Treasurer Elizabeth Rinchuso, County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson, Circuit Clerk Lafayette Woods Sr., County Coroner Chad Kelley, and Justices of the Peace Dr. Herman Ginger of District 6, Delton Wright of District 3, Vannette Johnson of District 7 and the Rev. H.O. Gray of District 2.

Incumbent Republican Justices of the Peace Ted Harden of District 12 and Dr. Conley Byrd of District 10 also filed for re-election shortly after the filing period began.

Retired Arkansas State Police trooper Roger McLemore also filed Thursday. He is running as an independent for Jefferson County sheriff.

Candidates for state legislative races and for vacant judicial positions filed at the Secretary of State’s Office at Little Rock.

Among those filing Thursday afternoon were Holcomb, Dorothy Hall of Sheridan and Gene Yarbrough of Star City,who are all candidates for District 10 in the state House of Representatives. All three filed as Democrats.

Charles Tadlock of Sheridan filed as a Democratic candidate for House District 15, which includes part of Jefferson County, and incumbent state Rep. Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV filed for re-election to the District 17 position. Wilkins is also a Democrat.

Current District 5 state Sen. Stephanie Flowers filed for re-election to the district which has become Senate District 25. She is also a Democrat.

The filing period for county and legislative candidates ends March 1 at noon. Candidates for non-partisan municipal elections will file in July.