Craighead County Judge and Jonesboro mayoral candidate Marvin Day told Talk Business & Politics on Monday (July 27) that he intends to continue his bid for the seat even though there might be an issue with him being able to seek the office under state law.
Arkansas voters approved Amendment 95 in 2016 and it raised the terms for county elected officials from two to four years. But it also stipulates that a county official cannot seek or be appointed to another elected office in the state.
Day said he met with legal counsel prior to his announcement and was told that provision might not hold up if challenged in court.
“I was aware of this issue before I announced my run. We thought there was a possibility that this might come up,” he said.
Day announced last week that he would seek the mayor’s seat after longtime incumbent Harold Perrin opted to not seek a fourth term due to a health issue.
Jonesboro native Andy Shatley is the only other announced candidate for the office. On his social media accounts he said he will seek the mayor’s office. He is reportedly a physical therapist and a former Major League Baseball player, according to his social media accounts. The municipal filing period ends Aug. 11.
Day was elected as the Craighead County Judge in 2018 after winning the Republican primary.
If the amendment were taken literally, it would mean that elected county officials might not be able to run for re-election because it specifically states an office holder cannot seek another office during that term, Day said. The judge said he’s confident that Arkansas voters didn’t intend to limit their choices for public office and that’s what this part of the amendment could do.
Day said he will seek more legal opinions about eligibility for this office. Unless he finds a compelling legal argument or a judge strikes him from the ballot if a lawsuit is filed, he said he would continue to run.
“We’re going to keep pushing forward,” he said.