Presley, Judge Hill Announce Bids For Craighead County Judge

by Talk Business and Politics ([email protected]) 316 views 

Two Craighead County men recently announced they will run for Craighead County Judge next fall, with a race guaranteed for the November general election.

Jonesboro 911 Director Jeff Presley announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Craighead County Judge in the 2016 primary, set for March 1. Incumbent County Judge Ed Hill, D-Jonesboro also announced he will seek a fourth term in office during the March 1 primary.

Presley, who has worked in emergency services since 1992, made the announcement on the steps of the Craighead County Courthouse in Jonesboro. The Caraway native said he has had a varied career.

“I worked in construction. My dad and I were bricklayers,” Presley said, noting they worked on several school projects in the Jonesboro area.

Presley worked as a roughneck in Texas, jobs on the West Coast before becoming involved in emergency services in 1992. He said he started working with then-Sheriff Jerry Suiter at the Craighead County Detention Center. He had the opportunity to work as a dispatcher and tactical officer with the county. Also, Presley has worked as the Northeast Arkansas liaison for the federal Department of Homeland Security, is FEMA disaster trained and serves on the state 911 Blue Ribbon Commission.

“It’s time to take my experience and use it where it will do the most good for our citizens in building the future of Craighead County,” Presley said.

The issues, Presley said, include roads, grants, quality of life and implementing a FEMA Disaster Plan for the county. The county has been without a plan for at least three years, Presley said, noting the plan and a lack of pursuing grants has hurt the county. Presley said one of the prime motivating factors for his candidacy is the continued opportunity losses by certain county officials to take advantage of the considerable annual income, measured in millions of dollars available through other than tax increases to the residents.

Hill announced late last week his intention to seek reelection to the position he has held since January 2011. Prior to assuming office Judge Hill served as a Justice of the Peace on the Craighead County Quorum Court and 33 years in the Craighead County Road Department, with 10 of those years as road superintendent.

Judge Hill is a lifelong resident of Craighead County and a graduate of Nettleton High School.

Hill said his efforts will focus on providing a solid public service to citizens. When initially elected in November of 2010, Judge Hill said, “I will have no friends or foes when I take office. I want to work together with all the departments and do what is best for the county.”

Hill said during his time in office the county has worked to live within the financial means provided by the citizens of Craighead County.  He said successes in his three terms include road equipment improvements, computer infrastructure and technology improvements, emergency operations enhancements, clean financial audits, and increased grant funding for operations of court diversion programs.

Judge Hill is a member of the County Judge’s Association of the Arkansas Association of Counties where he serves on the Legislative Committee and the Executive Committee. He has also served on the Statewide Economic Development Strategy Committee and the County Extension Services Review Committee. He serves as a board member for the East Arkansas Planning and Development District, Northeast Arkansas Workforce Training Consortium, Crowley’s Ridge Development Council, Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee, and the Transportation Committee of the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce.