Friday, July 14, 2017

TOP STORY >> Few races in districts challenged

Leader senior staff writer

LaConda Watson and Jim Moore drew the short straws when they were elected in September 2015 to the first-ever Jacksonville North Pulaski School Board. Because the district was new, all seven members were elected to their first term, and in order to stagger the four-year terms, Watson and Moore were the two who drew initial two-year terms. Two others drew three-year terms and three got the full four-year terms.

Watson, executive director of the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club, and Moore, retired Air Force and chairman of the Jacksonville Planning Commission, are running unopposed. She also served on the appointed JNPSD school board that preceded the first elected board.

The filing period closed at noon Tuesday.

Pulaski County Special School District elected its first board members, having just emerged from fiscal distress and state control, and the district won’t elect any new board members until September 2018, according to Linda Remele, school board president.


The only contested race in Lonoke County is for the Cabot Position 3 school board seat, where incumbent Mark D. Russell is being challenged by Marvin Jones, according to M.J. Maneth in the Lonoke County Clerk’s Office.

Incumbent Ricky Hill did not file for reelection for Position 7, clearing the way for Joe Trusty, who did file.

For the Lonoke School board, Zone 1, Position 3, incumbent Tony Kellybrew did not file. Incumbent Angela Sumner is running unopposed for the Zone 3, Position 2 seat she currently holds, Maneth said.

In England, incumbent Scott Cheek is running unopposed for the Zone 3 seat. Incumbent Misty Westbrook did not file for her Zone 7 seat.

In Carlisle, incumbent Adam Ellis is running unopposed for the Zone 5 seat he currently holds.


The Beebe School Board election has two candidates seeking the Position 1 seat.

David Doyle and Jason Smith are running for the position held by Brenda McKown, who is not seeking re-election. McKown has 22 years with the Beebe and McRae school boards. She was president of the McRae School Board during annexation in 2005 and is a past president of the Arkansas School Board Association.


In cases where neither the incumbent nor anyone else filed to run, the incumbent will be invited to remain on the board and if they decline, the other board members will appoint a replacement, Maneth said.

School board elections will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19, with early voting Sept. 12-18.

Deadline to register to vote in the school board election this year is Monday, Aug. 21, according to information provided by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Absentee ballot applications for this election must be available from county clerks by July 21 and the ballots must be delivered to absentee voters by August 4.

Absentee ballots must be delivered to the county clerk by Sept. 18.