Deputy Public Defender Wendy Sharum is the latest to enter the Sebastian County judicial election cycle. She announced Monday (May 13) her candidacy for Fort Smith District Court, Division Two, for the election set for March 2020.
The post is now held by Gunner DeLay through appointment.
Sharum has worked as deputy public defender for the 12th Judicial District in Sebastian County since 1995. During her tenure, she has represented indigent clients in criminal matters in Circuit, District and Juvenile Courts, as well as the Arkansas Court of Appeals. She has worked with 600 clients each year in preliminary hearings of felony charges and trials of misdemeanors. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the Sebastian County Bar Association.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hendrix College, and earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Sharum is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Fort Smith, a Leadership Fort Smith graduate, member of the Sebastian County Juvenile Justice Prevention Coalition, member of the Bonneville House Association Board of Directors and a past recipient of the Fort Smith Round Table Community Service Award.
“Serving for 24 years as a public defender has provided me with invaluable, practical courtroom experience. Every day I work closely with attorneys, law enforcement and court personnel trying cases, making sure that justice is served equally and impartially,” Sharum said in her announcement. “I believe this experience has given me the insight, perspective and problem-solving abilities that are critical for a district court judge. It is this broad knowledge, hard work and experience that I will bring to the bench. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the community as your district judge, and I promise to work diligently with a dedication to fairness and justice.”
Dianna Hewitt Ladd and Judge Jim O’Hern announced May 8 their bids for election and re-election, respectively, for judicial posts. Ladd is running for the newly created Sebastian County Judge post, and O’Hern seeks re-election to position one of the Fort Smith District Court. Administrative Law Judge Amy Grimes on April 30 announced her candidacy for the position O’Hern holds.