Add Fort Smith attorney Michael Pierce to the growing list of those seeking election to judicial positions in Sebastian County. Pierce is running for Fort Smith District Court, Division III, the seat now held by Judge Claire Borengasser.
Pierce, an attorney with the Fort Smith-based law firm Gean, Gean & Gean, is a 2002 graduate of Northside High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. He graduated in 2008 from the University of Arkansas School of Law and is certified to practice law in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
In addition to working at the law firm, Pierce worked as Sebastian County Deputy Prosecutor between 2009-2012. He is a founding member of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Young Alumni Council and is president-elect of the Fort Smith Razorback Club. He lives in Fort Smith with his wife Jenna and three children.
“I believe that the Sebastian County District Court needs a boost of energy and a continued focus on justice for all members of the Fort Smith community. I truly respect the past, present and future of the court and I look forward to working with members of the community, local law enforcement agencies, and all members of the Arkansas Bar Association to make Fort Smith a better place during this process. I truly believe that I can bring a needed change to the court because I believe every case is different and requires individualized solutions allowing justice for all,” Pierce noted in his statement.
Judicial elections are set for March 3, 2020.
Following are other announcements for regional judicial posts.
• Fort Smith District Court Judge Sam Terry announced July 17 he will challenge Ladd in the Sebastian County Circuit Court, Division VII race.
• Fort Smith attorney Joshua Bugeja and Sebastian County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jason Hunter announced July 15 they will enter the Fort Smith District Court, Division II race. They will face Deputy Public Defender Wendy Sharum who announced May 13 for the post.
• Former Republican Arkansas Senator and Representative Gunner DeLay is running for the Sebastian County Circuit Court Division V now held by retiring Judge J. Michael Fitzhugh. No other candidate has announced for division V race set for March 3, 2020.
• Fort Smith attorney Greg Magness is running for the Division VI, Sebastian County Circuit Court bench now held by Judge James Cox, who is retiring. Magness will face Fort Smith attorney Phil Milligan and Sebastian County Deputy Public Defender Rita Howard Watkins for the judicial job in the March 2020 election. Magness will not seek re-election to his Fort Smith School Board post.
• Deputy Public Defender Wendy Sharum announced May 13 her candidacy for Fort Smith District Court, Division II, for the election also set for March 2020.
• 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.