As lawmakers began Tuesday debating whether or not to move the 2016 primary and judicial general elections, the first moves for the 2016 campaign began as Justice Paul Danielson announced plans not to seek re-election.
Danielson, who won a contested race in 2006 to complete the unfinished term of then-Associate Justice and now-Chief Justice Jim Hannah, cited a state law as his reason not to run.
“I am eternally grateful to the people of Arkansas for allowing me the privilege of serving on this court for what will be ten years, after having served twelve years as a circuit judge,” Danielson said. “And it has been my honor and pleasure to work among such esteemed colleagues over the years. Were it not for the state law prohibiting me from seeking re-election without forfeiting my retirement benefits, I would continue to seek re-election as long as the good people of this State would have me.”
A Florida State University graduate, Danielson also graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Danielson also served as a circuit judge in Yell, Logan, Conway and Scott counties from 1995 to 2006, was a law clerk for Arkansas Supreme Court justice Frank Holt, a deputy prosecutor and an instructor at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Little Rock.
A circuit judge and former lawmaker also announced plans Tuesday to run for the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Circuit Judge Shawn Womack of Mountain Home said he would seek the seat currently held by Danielson.
Womack served in the state House and state Senate before winning the circuit judge seat.