Endorsements made in Sebastian County Judge race

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 1,494 views 

Endorsements have emerged for the top elected Sebastian County position, with the race to be decided in the May 24 Republican primary because no Democrats filed for the open seat. Sebastian County Judge David Hudson, who has held the seat since 1998, is retiring.

The only candidates to file for Sebastian County Judge were former State Representative and State Senator Denny Altes, Sebastian County Treasurer/Collector Steve Hotz, and Sebastian County Director of Emergency Management Jeffrey Turner. The candidates are all Republicans.

Altes served in the House of Representatives from 1999-2003 and represented Senate District 13 from 2003 to 2011. He returned to the House of Representatives in 2011 and represented the 76th District until January 2015. Altes has also served two stints with the Sebastian County Quorum Court.

Hotz announced for the job in October 2021. Hotz is the Treasurer/Collector after being appointed by Hudson and confirmed by the Quorum Court in December 2019 following the resignation of Judith Miller. He is not eligible to run for re-election as Treasurer/Collector the office because he was appointed. Hotz has 25 years of business experience and 10 years of experience in county government, including director of human resources for the county.

In addition to being the county’s director of emergency management, Turner is a member of the Greenwood Public Schools Board of Directors, and is a volunteer firefighter with emergency medical training.

Hudson told Talk Business & Politics “experience in county government would be very helpful” and Hotz and Turner are the only candidates with that experience.

“That would be my preference, to see someone with that type of background for the job,” Hudson said.

When pressed more about his preference between Hotz and Turner, Hudson responded: “I’m not endorsing anybody, but … you have two of those gentlemen. I can’t endorse one over the other because they are both good honest men, and they have a good heart.”

Altes was recently endorsed by Frank Glidewell, a former State Representative and State Senator who served two years as Sebastian County Judge after an appointment.

“I’ve known Denny Altes for 40 years. We’ve been political allies, and yes at times we have been political competitors,” Glidewell noted in a statement. “There is one thing about Denny Altes – I’ve never questioned his commitment to his Christian faith or to his conservative principles. I’m delighted to offer my whole-hearted endorsement to Republican Denny Altes to be the next County Judge of Sebastian County. I encourage you to vote for him on May 24th.”