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Races set for El Dorado mayor, Union County judge Statewide filing period ends

Posted on March 2, 2018

By the News-Times staff

With the close of the week-long filing period Thursday, several local races were set for both the primaries and general election later this year.

El Dorado and Union County will see races for several offices, including El Dorado mayor and Union County judge.

The primary and nonpartisan judicial general elections are May 22 and the general election is Nov. 6.

El Dorado city offices

There will be a threeway Republican primary for El Dorado mayor, with incumbent Frank Hash facing off against Bill Luther, who recently retired after nearly 40 years in the utility industry and Sgt. Chris Lutman, community relations supervisor for the El Dorado Police Department.

Whoever wins the Republican primary in May will face Veronica Smith-Creer, the first African-American woman to run for El Dorado mayor and the only Democrat to file for the office.

City Attorney Henry Kinslow filed to retain his position. The Republican is running unopposed.

On the El Dorado City Council, there will be two races, one in Ward 3 and one in Ward 4.

Paul Choate, a Republican, will face Patrick D. Frazier, a Democrat, in the November election for the Ward 4, Position 1 seat currently held by Mary McAdams. Ward 4 Alderwoman Dianne Hammond, a Republican, is running unopposed to retain her Position 2 seat.

Tony Henry and Andre Rucks will challenge each other in May in the Democratic primary for the Ward 3, Position 2 seat currently held by Kensel Spivey. Willie McGhee, a Democrat, is running unopposed to retain his Ward 3, Position 1 seat.

Ward 2 aldermen Vance Williamson and Judy Ward, both Republicans, are running unopposed to retain

their seats — Position 1 and Position 2, respectively — as is Ward 1, Position 1 Alderman Mike Rice, a Democrat.

Robert Henderson, a Democrat, was the only candidate to file for the Ward 1, Position 2 seat currently held by Billy Blann.

Union County offices

In Union County, incumbent Judge Mike Loftin, a Democrat, will face a Republican challenger in the November election – current Justice of the Peace Cliff Preston.

And there will be two races when it comes to county JPs: incumbent Mike Dumas, a Democrat, will be challenged in November for his District 1 seat by Republican Steven A. Ward; and Donald Brock and Brett Garrett will face off in the Republican primaries in May for the District 10 seat currently held by Preston.

The remaining candidates are all incumbent justices running unopposed:

• District 2: Justin Hendrix, Democrat

• District 3: Gregory Glen Harrison, Democrat

• District 4: Dean Storey, Republican

• District 5: Carolyn Jones, Democrat

• District 6: Cecil Polk, Democrat

• District 7: Johnny Burson, Republican

• District 8: William Crowder, Republican

• District 9: Benny Vestal, Republican

• District 11: Ross Burton, Republican

County Clerk Shannon Phillips, a Democrat, will see a challenge from Goldie Hilburn, a Republican, in November.

Tax Collector Paula Beard will be challenged by Karen Scott in the Democratic primaries in May.

And Coroner Curtis Butterfield, a Democrat, will face off with Stormey Primm, a Republican, in November.

Circuit Clerk Cheryl Cochran Wilson, a Democrat, is running unopposed, as is Treasurer Debbie Ray, a Democrat; Assessor Vicki Deaton, a Democrat; Sheriff Ricky Roberts, a Republican; and Samuel C. Paulus, a Democrat who is running for county surveyor.

School board filings

In El Dorado, Wayne Gibson and Vicky J. Dobson filed to run for Zone 1 and Zone 6 seats, respectively.

In Smackover-Norphlet, Lynn Birchfield and Nathaniel J. Smith will face each other in a race for the Zone 3 seat on the school board.

In Junction City, Billy Joe Smith filed to run for the Zone 2 position on the school board.

In Parkers Chapel, Wes Taylor, Bonnie B. Fish against each other for Position 2 and Lisa Murray filed, uncontested for Position 1 to run for the school board.

On the Strong-Huttig School Board, board President Cindy C. Smith and Secretary Carrie Thomas-McHenry are running uncontested for their respective seats in Zone 3 and Zone 5.


In Huttig, Mayor Tony Cole, a Democrat, is running unopposed to keep his seat.

Lerlene Russell, a Democrat, is running for a Ward 2 council seat, while Van Page, a Democrat, is running for a Ward 3 council seat.


In Smackover, Mayor Bobby Neal, a Democrat, is running unopposed to keep his seat.

Paul A. Givens, a Democrat, is running for the Ward 3 city council seat, while Democrat Chris Long is running for the Ward 2 council seat and Mark Corley, a Democrat, is running for the Ward 1 council seat.

A race is set for Smackover constable, with Republican Jeffrey Hedges and Democrat Danny P. Farley facing off in November.

Junction City

In Junction City, Steve A. Williams, a Republican, has filed to run for the Ward 3 city council seat, while Paul D. Enis, a Republican, has filed to run for the Ward 2 council seat.


In Norphlet, incumbent Mayor Jim Crotty, a Democrat, is running unopposed to keep his seat.


In Strong, Mayor Daryell Howell, a Democrat, is running unopposed to keep his seat. And Arthemus Henry, a Democrat, is running for Strong alderman.

Other filings

In Boone Township, Stephen W. Rose has filed to run for constable.

In El Dorado Township, Eric Richardson has filed to run for constable.

Mary Dell Coleman has filed to run for constable in Harrison Township.

The following people have filed for seats on the Union County Republican Committee:

Paul Choate

Marie Elaine Strickland

Shirley M. Ballard

Charlotte Baine

James E. Baine

Rhonda Y. Anderson

Phoebe Sellers

Frank Hash

Jennifer Parks

Kermit Parks Jose A. Covas Steven A. Ward Cliff Preston Brian Storey Bill Luther Barbara Luther Homer I. Newton David Taylor Marilyn N. Ellen Vance Williamson Judy Ward

Henry L. Frisby II Henry C. Kinslow James E. Thomas Mark Smith Goldie Hilburn Guy R. Hendricks Jr. Bret Garrett Candice Justin Mattocks Janelle Williams And the following people have filed for seats on the Union County Democratic Committee:

Mary Ann Hoover Sandra Faison Mary Dell Coleman Mike Dumas John A. Baine Michelle Ward Vicki Deaton Gregory Glen Harrison Van Page

Karen Scott Mike Loftin Deborah A. Ray Jim Crotty Veronica Smith-Creer Paula Beard Patrick D. Frazier Arthemus Henry Mike Rice

Tony Henry

Jackie McGhee

Linda Miller

Shannon Phillips

Cecil Polk

Demondrae Markeith Cook

Robert Henderson

Alice Lowery

Andre Rucks

Judicial, state and

federal offices

Election officials say 135 Republicans and 91 Democrats filed to run for state and federal office over the past week.

For the office of District 13 prosecuting attorney, Jeffrey C. Rogers has filed to run for the office currently held by John Thomas Shepherd, who was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson for the seat after the former prosecuting attorney, David Butler, died in August.

Mary Thomason has filed to run for the District 13, Division 2, circuit judge position. The 13th Judicial District includes Calhoun, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union counties. Judicial elections are nonpartisan.

For the Arkansas House of Representatives, incumbents Rep. Matthew J. Shepherd, a Republican, and Rep. Sonia Barker, a Republican, have both filed to run unopposed to retain their seats in District 6 and District 7, respectively.

For Arkansas governor, Leticia Sanders of Maumelle and Jared Henderson of Little Rock will face off in the May primary for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The winner will challenge the winner of the Republican primary between Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Jan Morgan of Hot Springs, as well as Libertarian candidate Mark West, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Ashley Ewald of Uniontown, a Libertarian, is challenging state Treasurer Dennis Milligan.

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin drew challengers in Democrat Anthony Bland and Libertarian Frank Gilbert.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has two challengers: Mike Lee, a Democrat, and Kerry Hicks, a Libertarian who ran and lost in the 2016 race for the District 4 Congressional seat.

And in District 4, Democrats Hayden Shamel and Richard Davis will face off in May, with the winner taking on Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, as well as two independent candidates, Michael Barrett and Lee McQueen, in the November general election.

Reporting from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Associated Press contributed to this story.