A local pastor and the interim mayor have filed with the county clerk’s office, and a Crossett councilman has also indicated he plans to seek to fill the office vacated by late Crossett Mayor Scott McCormick’s death last month.
Interim Mayor Crystal Marshall and Crossett Councilman Dale Martinie were both collecting signatures last week that were required to file.
Crossett resident David Newberry has also declared his candidacy. Newberry was the pastor of First Baptist Church-Main Street from late 1989 to 2000. He has also worked in the insurance field, and moved back to the area two years ago. He now serves as the pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Hamburg.
“I believe I can best serve Crossett as mayor for two main reasons,” he said in announcing his candidacy. “First, I deeply love and appreciate this town and its people. Moving back to Crossett after having been away for 18 years brought to us a deep, heartfelt knowledge that we were home.
“Second, it is my belief that the experience gained in administering the churches I’ve pastored and managing the large insurance agency I owned in Houston, Texas, all helped prepare me for this task. My skills are based on the ability to listen to people, discover the need and then seek the advice of the people around me to come up with a solution. I was recently informed that Crossett has the best employees, administrators and chiefs in the State of Arkansas. It will be my pleasure to work with them as we together seek the best for the community of Crossett.”
Martinie said his decision to run is informed in part by his experience working for the community on the council.
“I have been on the council for going on two years, and I know what the city is dealing with,” he said. “I know the issues we have that are important to the folks in Crossett, and me — being a long-time citizen for over 30 years —I want to do everything I can for the City of Crossett, for me and you and our families.”
Martinie was first elected to the council in 2018, is retired from Georgia-Pacific since February. He said that though the job scene has changed in Crossett since GP eliminated 500 jobs last year, there is still a lot that can be done to help the city move forward.
“We want to make Crossett better, to do the best we can with what we have. We still want people to come here, to our city, and to make jobs for the people that we have.”
Marshall was appointed interim mayor late last month, and has been a member of the council since 2016.
She said that she checked with the Arkansas Municipal League to be sure that she was eligible to run for the position since she had been appointed interim, and had verified that she was.
“I was in a very unique position in that over the last year especially, but the last one to two years, Mayor McCormick had appointed me to work with him and with others to help with several large issues with Crossett,” she said.
“Because of that, I have a wealth of experience with municipal law and the department heads. I feel like God placed me in a position to help.”
Marshall said she wants to work as one team, not only with the local school district but with Ashley County as a whole.
“We have such good momentum, and I feel we are headed in the right direction,” she said. “We just need to work together.”
The election will be Aug. 11, and the candidate who is elected will serve as mayor until Dec. 31, 2022.
Those wishing to run for the position will need to contact Ashley County Clerk Christie Martin.
The deadline to file to run is May 12. Potential candidates must have at least 30 signatures by registered voters.