Former Jefferson County Judge Dutch King has announced that he will run in the Democratic Primary in May 2018 to regain the office he once held.

“I’ve received a substantial outpouring of support and encouragement to run from every corner of our community,” King said. “And after some serious discussions with my family, I’m ready to focus on mounting a successful campaign.”

King is no stranger to public service. He was elected to two successive terms on the Pine Bluff City Council from 1995 through 2000 and was elected Pine Bluff mayor, serving in that office from 2001 through 2004. In 2012 he ran for and was elected Jefferson County judge, and served in that capacity from 2013 through 2016. He was narrowly defeated in a 2016 run-off election by the current-County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV.

“I’m running on my record of fiscal responsibility, transparency in office and paying attention to serving the people of Jefferson County,” King said. “When we took office as Jefferson County judge, the county general fund was sitting at $1.2 million. During my term, we had a balanced budget and when I left office the county general fund was sitting at more than $2 million.

“Our record in the Jefferson County Road Department follows the same path. When we took office the county road fund was around $500,000. When we left office, the county road fund was at just over $1.4 million. During that time, while accumulating those savings, we upgraded construction equipment and rolling stock to better serve the people of Jefferson County.

“For me, it is an honor and a privilege to have worked for the people of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County as a public servant and I look forward to the day when I will again serve at the pleasure of the people. It is my policy to serve as a 24/7/365 county judge to be who is easy to get ahold of, who returns phone calls and who makes the business of the office of county judge transparent, open and accessible to the folks we are serving. That’s the right thing to do and that’s what you can expect from me.”

King is a life-long resident of Jefferson County married to Helen O’Keefe King. The Kings have three grown children and are members of First Presbyterian Church of Pine Bluff.