Early voting for the primary election is still a month a way, but the candidate list has been confirmed and several races are unopposed.
This year the primary election and the annual school election will be on March 3 with an early voting date scheduled for Feb. 18.
The March election will determine three different circuit judge positions for the Tenth Judicial District which includes Ashley County.
The non-partisan elections include three different circuit judge divisions.
Crews Puryear, who is currently a deputy prosecutor in the Tenth Judicial District; James Hamilton, who is currently Crossett’s city attorney and an attorney with Hamilton Law Firm; and Tim Leonard, who is currently a public defender are all running for division one which is currently filled by Judge Sam Pope.
Frank Spain, the Tenth Judicial District’s chief deputy prosecutor; Laurie Bridewell, former Chicot County district court judge; and Priscilla Copelin-Abernathy, a practicing attorney in Desha County, are all running for the division two seat which was formerly held by Judge Kenneth B. Johnson.
Judge Johnson passed away in 2019 and Sandra Bradshaw was appointed to finish his term. Division two is primarily assigned family law cases.
Robert B. Gibson III is running unopposed for the division three position which is currently filled by his father, Robert B. Gibson, Jr.
In addition to the non-partisan races, the primaries will also allow voters to elect the candidates who will run on the November ballot. Several candidates are unopposed for the primaries in their respective parties, but will have an opponent in the November election.
On the Republican ticket U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman are both running unopposed in the primaries. Cotton will be unopposed in November as well, but Westerman will not. District 8 State Rep. Jeffery Wardlaw and District 11 Rep. Mark McElroy are both running unopposed on the republican ticket in March, but both will have opponents in November. Howard Beatty is running for the District 9 position unopposed in the primaries as well with a Democratic opponent in November.
The only opposed race on the Republican ticket is Ben Gilmore and Bill Dunklin who are competing for State Senate District 26. The winner of this race in the primaries will run against Sen. Eddie Cheatham in the general election in November. Sen. Cheatham, who currently holds the District 26 seat, is running unopposed on the Democrat ballot in the primaries.
Others on the Democrat ballot for the primaries include, Wililam H. Hanson who is running unopposed for U.S. Congress District 4. Hanson will run against Westerman, from the Republican ticket, in November. Rep. Don Glover is running unopposed for District 11 in March on the Democrat ticket, but will race against Rep. Mark McElroy, from the republican ticket, in November. Christopher Ogburn is running unopposed for State Representative District 8 in the primaries, but will race against Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, from the republican ticket, in November.
Rep. Leanne Burch is also running unopposed on the Democrat ticket in March, but will run against republican Howard Beatty in November for the District 9 position.
All of the local school board positions are unopposed. Katie Jordan is running for re-election in Crossett’s Zone 4 and Debbie Jackson and Bryan Hollis are both running for re-election in Hamburg. Jackson represents Zone 3 and Hollis Zone 5.
All 11 justice of the peace positions are on the ballot, but only one district is opposed. Rickey Nelms of Hamburg is running against Sherry Nowlin of Crossett for the Zone 3 seat, which is currently filled by Danny Rice.
JP’s Ron Miller, Ben Carlton Lawrence, Jimmy Pennington, Jeff Langley, Rhonda Pippen, Ricky Sims, Bob Rush, Ronnie Wheeler, and Greg Sivils are all running for re-election and are all unopposed.
Billie Pippen is running opposed in Zone 4 which was formerly held by Hiram Taylor.
The constable races are all unopposed as well. Heath Breedlove is running in the Carter Township, Frankie Tanksley in the Egypt Township, Michael Kennedy in the Elon Township, John Martin in the Extra Township, Johnie Stweart in the Longview Township and Danny Lephiew in the Millcreek Township.
Other non-partisan elections include the State Supreme Court Associate Justice Position 4 and Court of Appeals Associate Judge District 5. Barbara Womack Webb will be running against Judge Morgan Welch for State Supreme Court Associate Justice Position 4 and James McMenis will be running against Court of Appeals Judge Mark Klappenbach for the Court Appeals Associate Judge District 5.