Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TOP STORY >> Competitive races in ’16 after filings

Leader staff writer

The deadline to file for office has now passed.

The primary and nonpartisan general election is March 1. Early voting starts Feb. 15, and the voter registration deadline is Feb. 1.

One highlight of the filings is that Dist. 42 Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) has a Republican opponent, Jacksonville businessman Patrick Thomas.

Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin, a Republican, 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 Cammack Village-Wrightsville District Court Judge Rita Bailey in the race to preside over both the Jacksonville and Maumelle district courts. She filed for the office on Monday.

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.

Other important dates to know include that, if a runoff is required after the primary election, it will be held March 22. The voter registration deadline for that is Feb. 22.

The general election, and nonpartisan runoffs if they are 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.

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-Little Rock) and Joe Woodson.

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.

Sen. Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) is unopposed.


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.

Dist. 40 Rep. Douglas House (R-North Little Rock), Dist. 41 Rep. Karilyn Brown (R-Sherwood), Dist. 43 Rep. Tim Lemons (R-Cabot) and Dist. 45 Rep. Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia) are unopposed.

Dist. 13 Rep. David Hillman (D-Almyra) is also unopposed. Dist. 13 includes parts of Lonoke and White counties.


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.

His case was dismissed last week, when special, appointed Faulkner County District Court Judge David Reynolds signed an order Thursday, according to a Lonoke District Court clerk.

Cabot attorney John Flynn, Ward City Attorney Clint McGue and Judge Teresa Hallum Smith are opposing O’Bryan for the Cabot court position.

Judge Milas “Butch” Hale III is unopposed in his re-election bid as judge over the Sherwood district court.


Many candidates are unopposed.

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

Dist. 3 Justice of the Peace Kathy S. Lewison, a Democrat, has an opponent, Republican Lynn Jacuzzi.

Democrats Jason Christopher Smedley and Lillie McMullen have filed for the Dist. 5 JP seat.

Democrat Teresa Coney and Republican Andrew Norwood have filed for the Dist. 7 JP seat.

Judge Barry Hyde, a Democrat, is unopposed and seeking re-election, as is Democrat Larry Crane for circuit/county clerk.

Democrats Janet Troutman Ward and Debra Buckner are doing the same for assessor and treasurer, respectively.

For the quorum court, the following have filed: JP Doug Reed (Republican, Dist. 1), JP Tyler Denton (Democrat, Dist. 2), JP Julie Blackwood (Democrat, Dist. 4), JP Donna Massey (Democrat, Dist. 6), JP Curtis Keith (Democrat, Dist. 8) and JP Judy Green (Democrat, Dist. 9).

Also, JP R. Green (Demo-crat, Dist. 10), JP Aaron Robinson (Republican, Dist. 11), JP Luke McCoy (Republican, Dist. 12), JP Phil Stowers (Republican, Dist. 13), JP Paul Elliott (Republican, Dist. 14) and Staci Medlock (Democrat, Dist. 15) are unopposed.


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

Circuit Clerk Deborah Oglesby is unopposed, as is Treasurer Patti Weathers and Assessor Jerrel Maxwell.

Republican Sheriff John Staley is facing off against Steve Finch, also a Republican.

Therese L. O’Donnell is unopposed for the collector position.

Three Republicans have filed for 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. He’s running for Eddie Joe Williams’ state Senate seat. The Dist. 1 JP candidates 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.

But JPs Barry (B.J) Weathers (Dist. 2), Henry Lang (Dist. 3), Jerry E. Cole (Dist. 6), Tate House (Dist. 8), Bill Ryker (Dist. 10) and Mike Dolan (Dist. 11) are unopposed. All are Republicans, with the exception of Dolan and Ryker. They are Democrats. Republican Patty Knox is also unopposed for Dist. 12, but isn’t a current JP.


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.

All of the Lonoke City Council races are unopposed. The aldermen seeking re-election are Jane Derning (Dist. 1), Woody Evans (Dist. 2), Pat Howell (Dist. 3), Wendell Walker (Dist. 4), Efrem Z. Jones (Dist. 5) and Raymond Hatton (Dist. 6). All are Democrats, with the exception of Evans, who is Republican.


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.

Boozman (R-Ark.) is seeking re-election. He filed for the office on Monday.


Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) has filed for re-election to continue representing District 2. He has one opponent, Libertarian Mark West.

In District 2, 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.