Benton County District Judge Jeff Conner announced Wednesday (July 31) his campaign for re-election.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee first appointed Conner to the bench 17 years ago. He presides over Gentry, Decatur, Centerton, Gravette, Little Flock, Lowell and Sulphur Springs.
The nonpartisan judicial primary is March 3, 2020
“District Court is where everyday people have a first look at our justice system. This is where first-time offenders may earn a last clear chance to get back on the right track,” Conner said.
In a news release announcing his campaign, Conner included endorsements from attorneys David Matthews, Charlotte Stacy and Tim Hutchinson and former Gravette Police Chief Trent Morrison.
“Judge Conner is very clear,” Hutchinson said. “With first-time petty offenders, they can expect to be treated fairly. For repeat offenders, or those involving domestic violence or those against children, offenders should expect to receive a very stiff penalty.”
Morrison noted Conner’s patience with first-time offenders.
“I applaud his foresight to use community service as a way for people to repay their debt to society while also saving taxpayer money,” Morrison said.
Matthews said Conner is part of a “strong panel” of district court judges in Benton County.
“He has a proven track record of listening before imposing judgment, and he understands the importance of having consistency in his sentencing,” Matthews said.
Conner and his wife Latisa live in Rogers.
There are four divisions of Benton County District Court, including Conner, Judge Ray Bunch, Judge Chris Griffin, and retiring Judge Stephen Thomas. Candidates David Bailey and A.J. Anglin have announced campaigns to replace Thomas.