Hotz elected Sebastian County judge; treasurer/collector race set for a runoff

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,915 views 

Sebastian County Treasurer/Collector Steve Hotz survived a three-person GOP primary race without a runoff and will be the next Sebastian County Judge. No Democrats filed for any of the county’s administrative or law enforcement posts.

Sebastian County Judge David Hudson did not seek re-election for the job he has held since 1998.

The win by Hotz included defeating Denny Altes, who faces a trial after being charged with one count of abuse of public trust. It was learned May 6 that Altes, a former Arkansas legislator, was investigated for bribing Hotz to not run for county judge. Emily White, a special prosecuting attorney for the 12th Judicial District, investigated the case. The charge is a class C felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In somewhat of a surprise, Ken Blevins won the most votes in a three-person race for Sebastian County treasurer/collector, and will face Lora Rice in the June 21 runoff election. Blevins was defeated in a May 2012 GOP primary by Denora Coomer for Circuit Clerk. The defeat ended a controversial term by Blevins that included numerous sexual harassment accusations and lawsuits. In 2018 Blevins would run as a Democrat for Sebastian County Judge, and was defeated by Mosie Boyd in the Democratic primary.

Following are the vote percentages for the three GOP primaries for the top contested county races.

• County Judge
Denny Altes: 24.4%
Jeff Turner: 23.2%
Steve Hotz: 52.4%

• Circuit Clerk
Marcus Phillips: 42.4%
Susie Hassett: 57.6%

• Treasurer/Collector
Ken Blevins: 40.7%
Lora Rice: 34.1%
Charity Gregory: 25.2%

County Clerk Sharon Brooks, a Republican, ran unopposed in the election as did Republican County Assessor Zach Johnson and Republican Sheriff Hobe Runion III. County Coroner Kenny Hobbs, also a Republican, was unopposed.

No Democrats filed for the top six Sebastian County elected positions, assuring that the posts will again be held by Republicans following the 2022 general election.