Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TOP STORY >> Lonoke QC to see mostly new faces

Leader staff writer

Even before the election is held, it’s clear that the 13-member Lonoke County Quorum Court will have a lot of new faces in January 2013.

At least three current members say they aren’t running and redistricting last summer created three districts with no incumbents for a minimum of six new members.

The filing deadline is noon Thursday.

Districts 4, 8 and 12 are the three districts with no incumbents. So far Republican Ernie Ernst, a former candidate for Cabot City Council, has filed in Dist. 4. Republican Tate House has filed in Dist. 8 and Republican Matt Sanders has filed in Dist. 12.

All those new districts are in northern Lonoke County which votes Republican.

Republican Brent Cannon has filed for the Dist. 1 seat currently held by first-term JP Joe Farrer. Farrer is running as a Republican for Arkansas House of Representatives Dist. 44, which had no incumbent when the state drew new lines. That new district includes Ward and Austin in Lonoke County and Rose Bud and Pangburn in White County.

In Dist. 9, JP Roger Lynch filed on Tuesday. JP Sonny Moery, who also lives in that district, announced last week that he wouldn’t run again.

Republican Barry D. Weathers II, son of JP Barry Weathers, who is not seeking re-election, has filed in JP Dist. 2, where JP Jannette Minton is stepping down. But former JP Larry Ridgeway, another Republican, has also filed.

Republican JP Henry L. Lang is in his second term and ran unopposed both times. But Republican Joshua McCann has filed against him for a third race in Dist. 3.

So far, Republican JP Tim Lemons is unopposed in Dist. 5. And Republican Lee Linville is hopeful that his name is the only one on the ballot in Dist. 6, where longtime Republican JP Alexis Malham is the incumbent.

Dist. 13 also is in the heavily Republican northern end of the county. JP Larry Odom is the Republican JP is that district. As of Tuesday, he had not filed but Republican Tim Yarboro had.

So far, only Republicans have filed for nine of the 13 districts. If nothing changes, the winners of those districts will be determined by the May 22 primary.

Among Democrats, no one has filed against JP Adams Sims in Dist. 7 or JP Bill Ryker in Dist. 10. And JP Mike Dolan in Dist. 11, who has been on the quorum court longer than any other member, has never had an opponent.