Sebastian County voters decided Greg Magness will be the new Sebastian County Circuit Court Judge for Division VI. Magness faced Sebastian County Deputy Public Defender Rita Howard Watkins in a runoff election for the seat in Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) general election.
Neither received 50% of the vote in a three person race in March that included Phil Miligan. Magness received 27,522 of 60.56% of the votes to Watkin’s 17,921 (39.44%) votes.
Magness grew up in Sebastian County and attended the Fort Smith Public Schools, graduating from Southside High School in 1982. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
Since graduating from law school, he has been in private practice and a partner with Hardin, Jesson & Terry, PLC, since 1995.
“I want to congratulate Rita for running a good race. And I’m grateful to the voters of Sebastian County for placing their trust in me,” Magness said. “I intended to strive to be a judge who is always prepared, who is approachable by attorneys and who is fair to all those who come into the courtroom.”
Watkins said she was not upset by any means with the outcome of the race.
“I had a chance to meet so many wonderful people throughout Sebastian County and share my vision for Circuit Court, Division VI,” she said. “While today didn’t turn out the way we had hoped, my love for public service has not diminished, and I’ll continue to look for ways to make our community a better place to live and work.”