The race for the next Jonesboro mayor is set after the filing deadline passed on noon Wednesday (Aug. 5). Former State Rep. Harold Copenhaver, businesswoman Amanda Dunavant, businessman Thomas Elwood, and physical therapist Andy Shatley will vie to replace outgoing Mayor Harold Perrin.
Copenhaver, Dunavant, and Elwood sought the office in 2016.
Perrin, a three-term incumbent, had planned to seek a fourth term, but ongoing health issues forced him from the race several weeks ago. The filing period ends one of the most anticipated races for the top spot in Northeast Arkansas’ largest city. Craighead County Judge Marvin Day entered the race, but early this week had to withdraw due to possibly not being eligible for the ballot because he was elected judge in 2018. Another candidate who put forth serious consideration, Alderman L.J. Bryant opted not to run just before the filing deadline ended.
Copenhaver, Dunavant, and Elwood challenged Perrin in 2016 amongst a crowded field of contenders. Copenhaver was the runner-up in that race, and he likes in chances moving forward in this election cycle.
“A big part of my desire to be Mayor is to bring people together, from all walks of life, to make sure we are building a community where our kids have a bright future. We all want to leave things for our children and grandchildren better than we found them, and I’m convinced I can help build upon previous generations of leadership and make a significant contribution in doing that,” Copenhaver said.
Dunavant said one of her focuses will be the fire department if elected, according to her social media.
“I am running for mayor of Jonesboro. My plans are to continue the projects we have going and to explore the possibilities for two new firehouses and staffing. I know things are tight in our budget, but it is very much needed,” she said.
Shatley recently told supporters on social media he was ready for the challenge.
“I’m humbled and grateful for your support,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed of running for mayor of Jonesboro. I want nothing but the best for this great city that has given me so much. Now it’s my turn to give back.”
In recent social media posts, Elwood said he won’t share his ideas on what he plans to do if elected until the entire field of candidates had been set.
“I have all the signatures I need so I will be on the ballot in 2020 for mayor of Jonesboro. Thank you to everyone,” he said.