Faulkner County Begins 2014 Dance
Let the music begin!
The 2014 primary election is a mere 11 months away, and candidates are dancing around various possibilities as they decide whether to run or not.
Here’s an update so far on Faulkner County races:
Democrat County Judge Allen Dodson cannot run, and no one has declared a candidacy — yet. Rumored GOP potentials are just retired Conway Fire Chief Bart Castleberry, Conway businessman Marvin Lessman (who ran unsuccessfully in 2012), Conway attorney David Hogue, and Justices of the Peace Damon Edwards and Steve Goode.
Republican Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock will seek the office again. We hear that his Democrat opponent from 2012, Tommy Earnhart, is poised to run again as well.
Melinda Reynolds, long-time Democrat County Clerk, is due to retire and cannot take office again, leaving the spot open. No one has declared yet. County Republicans see this spot as a good opportunity to elect a GOP County Clerk.
Democrat Circuit Clerk Rhonda Wharton is due to retire and will not be long in office, leaving this spot open. Historically voters have followed the lead of the retiring Clerk and given the position to the “next in line” candidate (internally determined within that office).
TREASURER, ASSESSOR, COLLECTOR
The local GOP may — or may not — focus on these positions — long held by solid Democrats — in 2014. No one so far has declared.
From a conservative point of view, in 2012 Republicans supposedly gained the first majority on the Faulkner County Quorum Court in 138 years.
However, in executive session not long after the election, a long-serving RINO sided with the Democrats to vote for a Democrat County Judge, proving that a one-person majority on the Quorum Court won’t get the job done.
We hear that GOP Charles Prince, JP seat 5, has yet to decide if he is running again, leaving that GOP seat open for the moment. No one has filed so far.
So the local GOP feels good about holding JP seats 2 (Randy Higgins), 3 (Steve Goode), 9 (Chris Bills), 10 (Johnny Brady), and JP 12 (Damon Edwards).
Of course, if one of those JPs declares a race for County Judge, that spot would become open.
The GOP sees JP seats 6 (GOP Dan Thessing), 8 (appointed Democrat Frank Shaw) and perhaps JP 13 (Democrat Johnny Wells) as opportunities for the GOP to get that greater-than-one majority on the Quorum Court. No one has yet filed for JP 8 and Shaw cannot succeed himself.
Seen as solid Democrat seats are JP 1 (Randy Ingram), JP 4 (Barbara Mathis), JP 7 (John Pickett) and JP 11 (Linda Paxton).