Clinton seeks Democratic nod, judicial filings highlight Wednesday’s activity

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 172 views 

The Democratic presidential primary in Arkansas grew by one Wednesday as the campaign for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned in paperwork to run for President. Also, at least a dozen judicial candidates were judicious by making their intentions known in running for office.

The one week filing period entered the halfway point Wednesday as candidates filed in Little Rock and at courthouses around the state. Clinton’s campaign filed at the Capitol and joins U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in seeking the Democratic nomination for the White House and Arkansas’ delegates so far. Clinton and Sanders are joined in the primary by eight Republicans who have filed for their party’s nomination. U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., Ben Carson, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Donald Trump are the only Republicans to file so far.

The only other federal filing Wednesday was in the 2nd Congressional District, where Chris Hayes of Mabelvale filed as a Libertarian to run against U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock. Hill also filed Wednesday.

However, most of the action was in judicial races. Two incumbents on the state’s Court of Appeals – Rita W. Gruber of North Little Rock (District 6, Division 1) and Waymond Brown of Pine Bluff (District 7) have filed for re-election.

Two appeals court races also developed Wednesday as two candidates filed. Attorneys Mark Klappenbach of Fordyce and Job Serebrov of Sheridan filed for the District 5 seat on the court, while a central Arkansas prosecutor filed for District 2, Position 2.

Cody Hiland of Conway turned in paperwork Wednesday to seek the seat. Hiland joins Circuit Judge Mike Murphy of Conway, who filed Sept. 16 during the early filing period.

Two judicial races also developed in Northeast Arkansas on Wednesday. Attorneys Curtis Walker Jr. of Blytheville and Tonya Alexander of Marion filed for the 2nd Judicial District, Division 6 seat. Both are seeking to replace Circuit Judge Victor Hill of West Memphis, who is not seeking another term.

Also, a Greene County attorney filed Wednesday to run for a District Judge seat.

Lorie Whitby of Lafe turned in paperwork to run for the District 17 seat, held by District Judge Dan Stidham of Paragould. Stidham filed Sept. 16 during the early filing period.

Several contested races developed Wednesday in the state House and state Senate as over a dozen candidates also filed. Rusty Latham, a Republican from Texarkana, filed in state House District 1. Latham joins Republican Carol Dalby of Texarkana in the race. Latham and Dalby, who filed Monday, are seeking to replace Rep. Prissy Hickerson, R-Texarkana, who is not seeking reelection.

A pair of Democratic primaries also developed Wednesday as an El Dorado man filed in District 7. Floyd Thomas Jr. is running for the seat and is joined by former Rep. Garry Smith, D-Camden in filing so far. Thomas and Smith are seeking to replace Rep. John Baine, D-El Dorado, who is not running again.

Democrat Bob Ware of McGehee also filed Wednesday for the District 11 seat, held by Rep. Mark McElroy, D-Tillar. McElroy filed earlier this week.

A race developed in southwest Arkansas as a Clark County justice of the peace filed to run against a Republican incumbent. Richard Bright, a Democrat from Arkadelphia, will run in District 18 against Rep. Richard Womack, R-Arkadelphia.

A Republican primary in Northeast Arkansas developed as a former lawmaker filed to run in a seat he lost in 2014. Former Rep. Wes Wagner, R-Manila, filed in District 54, which includes Mississippi and Poinsett counties. Wagner is joined in the race by Poinsett County Assessor Johnny Rye, R-Trumann. Wagner and Rye switched parties earlier this year to run in the seat, being vacated by Rep. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville.

Wallace also filed Wednesday to run in Senate District 22 and will face Sen. David Burnett, D-Osceola in a race closely watched by both parties.

Republican Steve Hollowell of Forrest City filed Wednesday to run in House District 49 against incumbent Rep. Marshall Wright, D-Forrest City. Wright filed Monday to seek another term in office.

Also, a three person race developed for the November 2016 general election as two candidates filed for the House seat. Rep. Scott Baltz, D-Pocahontas and Marsh Davis, R-Cherokee Village filed in District 61 on Wednesday. Both Davis and Baltz are joined by Libertarian Christopher Olson of Viola, who filed Monday.

Other incumbents to file Wednesday were Rep. David Hillman, D-Almyra in District 13, Rep. Dwight Tosh, R-Jonesboro in District 52 and Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers, in District 94. Petty is running against Democrat Grimsley Graham of Rogers in the Northwest Arkansas district.

In the state Senate, a Little Rock Libertarian also filed Wednesday. Jacob Mosier turned in paperwork to run in District 32. Former Rep. Will Bond, D-Little Rock, is also running for the seat, held by Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock. Johnson is running for a District Judge seat in Pulaski County.

Link here for the complete candidate list for the 2016 primary.

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