Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson is running for re-election to an eight-year term on the state’s highest court, and she’ll likely face a challenger in the May election.
Former Arkansas GOP Attorney General candidate David Sterling, now chief legal counsel for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, said he also plans to run for the Supreme Court seat that Goodson holds.
“She’s running,” said Goodson campaign advisor Keith Emis. In 2016, Goodson ran for an open seat to be Arkansas Chief Justice on the Supreme Court, but she was defeated by Judge Dan Kemp. In that race, Goodson was subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars of attack ads from outside special interest groups.
Sterling confirmed to Talk Business & Politics that he is a candidate in the race. “I am running and will have a formal statement at a later date,” he said.
In 2014, Sterling was runner-up for the Republican nomination for Arkansas Attorney General. He lost a run-off race to now AG Leslie Rutledge. In that race, Sterling benefited from outside advertising sponsored by the Judicial Crisis Network.
Judicial candidates run as “independents” in Arkansas. Primary races are conducted in conjunction with party primaries in May. If there are multiple candidates and one does not win a majority, the run-off for a judicial office is held between the top two finishers in the November general election.
The Associated Press first reported Goodson’s decision to seek re-election. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported Sterling’s interest in the race.