Sebastian County Circuit Judge Gunner DeLay announced Thursday (June 3) he will seek a seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2022.
DeLay said he will run for Position 6 currently held by Justice Karen Baker, who has not publicly announced her plans for office.
A former Republican state legislator and prosecuting attorney from Fort Smith, DeLay has served on the bench since he was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2018. He was re-elected as circuit judge without opposition in 2020.
“I am a strong believer in judicial restraint when it comes to interpreting statutes and the constitution. Judges should be guided by the original intent of the framers and the plain language of the text, as opposed to making law that fits their own political agenda,” DeLay said in an announcement press release.
DeLay cited his 30 years of legal experience and history of public service as two factors that qualify him for the state’s highest court.
“The supreme court is the last line of defense for protecting the rights of the people; rights that include free speech, the right to bear arms, and due process of law. The stakes in the race are high because what courts decide today determines the kind of world our kids and grandkids live in tomorrow,” he said. “It is critically important we elect judges who are independent and unafraid. I demonstrated that type of courage as a state legislator and will continue to be that type of justice on the supreme court.”
DeLay and his wife Robin have four children and two grandchildren.
Talk Business & Politics will update this story later today.