Friday, November 13, 2015

EDITORIAL >> Candidates get company

Don’t call Arkansas a one-party state. There will be several primary contests March 1 between establishment Republicans and Tea Party candidates, as well as Democrats who will then face off with Republicans in November.

Runoffs will be held March 22. Voter registration deadline is Feb. 22.

The general election and nonpartisan runoffs, if needed, will be Nov. 8, 2016. The voter registration deadline for that election is Oct. 10, 2016.

If a runoff is needed after the general election, it will be held Nov. 29, 2016. The voter registration deadline would be Oct. 31, 2016.

Voters must apply to register to vote one day before the actual deadline, according to the secretary of state’s website. It also states that any deadline falling on a weekend or holiday will be extended to the next business day.

According to a comprehensive roundup by our reporter Sarah Campbell, one highlight of the filings is that Dist. 42 Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) has a Republican opponent, Jacksonville businessman Patrick Thomas.

Another is Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin, a Republican, who is facing off against two Republicans, Richard Kyzer and Fred D. (Skipper) Clement Jr.

State Sen. David Johnson (D-Little Rock), who filed last week, is now opposed by Wrightsville and Cammack Village District Court Judge Rita Bailey in the race to preside over both the Jacksonville and Maumelle district courts.

The two courts will soon share a judge and have countywide jurisdiction because of a 2011 law aimed at lightening the caseload of circuit courts across the state. All of Pulaski County will vote on the new judge.

The following people are campaigning for seats that represent The Leader’s coverage area:

Dist. 34 Sen. Jan English (R-North Little Rock) faces two challengers, a Republican and a Democrat. They are Rep. Donnie Copeland (R-North Little Rock) and Joe Woodson, who is running as a Democrat.

Dist. 29 Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) and Lonoke County Justice of the Peace R.D. Hopper, also a Republican, have filed for Williams’ seat.

Three have filed for Copeland’s Dist. 38 seat. Dist. 38 includes much of Sherwood.

The candidates are Kent Walker, Victoria Leigh — both Democrats — and Carlton Wing, a Republican.

Dist. 14 Rep. Camille Bennett (D-Lonoke) and Roger D. Lynch, a Republican, have filed for her seat.

Dist. 44 Rep. Joe Farrer (R-Austin) also has an opponent, Garry Baker, a Libertarian.

Joseph (Joe) O’Bryan is running for re-election in the Lonoke County District Judge-Northern Division race, after being arrested in August for third-degree domestic battery.

Faulkner County District Court Judge David, who was appointed to hear the case, dismissed all charges Nov. 5 after O’Bryan’s girlfriend dropped assault charges against him. Cabot attorney John Flynn and Ward City Attorney Clint McGue are opposing O’Bryan for the Cabot court position.

In Pulaski County, Sheriff Doc Holladay, a Democrat, has a Libertarian opponent, Patrick Mulligan.

Lonoke County Clerk Dawn Porterfield, a Republican, has a Republican opponent, Courtney Ruble.

Three Republicans have filed for Lonoke County coroner. They are Carla Horton, Kenny Fraley and Karl E. (Eddie) Pennington.

There are also three Republicans seeking J.D. Hopper’s Justice of the Peace Dist. 1 seat. They are Brent Canon, Jesse Bear and Kevin Livengood.

Three Republicans, John D. Howard, Claud E. Irvin and Gregory Gibson, have filed for the Dist. 4 JP seat.

Dist. 5 JP Adam Justice, a Republican, has a Republican opponent, Robert (Bobby) Gilliam.

Dist. 7 JP Ralph Brown, a Republican, is being challenged in his re-election bid by Democrat Dan F. Stowers.

For Dist. 9, Republicans Linda Waddell and Les Carpenter have filed.

Republicans Daniel Hayes, Kenny Ridgeway and Bob Morris are seeking the Dist. 13 JP seat.

Cabot has one city council race because Alderman Dallan Buchanan resigned Oct. 1 from representing Ward 2 in Position 1 to pursue a job in another city. Damon Bivins and Douglas E. Warner — both independents — have filed for that seat.

Democrat Conner Eldridge of Lonoke, a former U.S. attorney; Republican Curtis Coleman, Libertarian Frank Gilbert and Jason Tate, a write-in candidate, have filed for Sen. John Boozman’s seat.

Rep. Rick Crawford has filed for re-election to continue representing the First District. He has one opponent, Libertarian Mark West.

In the Second District, Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock) is seeking re-election. He has five opponents. They are Democrat Dianne Curry, Republican Brock Olree, Libertarian Chris Hayes and two write-in candidates, Mathew Wescott and Charles Neely.

It’s shaping up to be a busy election year. Be sure to register and vote.