After the close of election qualifying in advance of the May 22 preferential primary, most Ashley County candidates will be re-elected without a challenger.
County Judge Jim Hudson will see a rematch of the 2016 election, however, because the former judge he unseated, Dennis F. Holland Sr., has qualified for the race. They are the only candidates running for the office, and both are running as Republicans, which means the race will be determined at the primary.
County Clerk Christie Pippen Martin, a Democrat, will face a challenge in the general election from Republican challenger Debbie A. Babb.
In the race for Ashley County Tax Collector, incumbent Sherry Stanley has announced her retirement, and so the race will be between Democratic candidate Lori Tomerlin Pennington and Tammy Rice Cook, a Republican.
Contested races on the Quorum Court include Districts 1, 8 and 11.
In District 1, Democrat James Lee Austin and Independent Ron Miller are running, while in District 8, incumbent Democrat Ricky D. Sims faces a challenge from Democrat Robert E. Cornelius Jr.
District 11 has three candidates, all with different political affiliations. James E. Phifer Sr. is running as a Democrat, Greg Sivils is running as a Republican and Royce Young is campaigning on an independent ticket. Justice Bill Rawls was appointed to fill his late father’s unexpired term, and is ineligible to run for re-election.
Two constable districts have multiple qualifying candidates. Democrat Robert Steven Hampton is mounting a challenge to incumbent Democrat Frankie Tanksley in the Egypt Township constables’ race, while in Millcreek Township, incumbent constable Lawrence Watt, a Democrat, will square off against Republican Danny Lephiew.
Candidates who qualified without an opponent include:
-Sheriff Tommy Sturgeon
-Circuit Clerk Vickie Stell
-County Assessor Beth Rush
-County Treasurer Stacey Ricks Breshears
-Justice of the Peace District No. 2 Carlton Buddy Lawrence.
-Justice of the Peace District No. 3 Danny Wade Rice
-Justice of the Peace District No. 4 Hiram Taylor
-Justice of the Peace District No. 5 Jimmy Pennington, who will be replacing
Justice Connie Timmons, who was appointed to fill the position when it was vacated and is ineligible to run for re-election.
-Justice of the Peace District No. 6 Jeff Langley
-Justice of the Peace District No. 7 Rhonda Pippen
-Justice of the Peace District No. 9 Bob Rush
-Justice of the Peace District No. 10 Ronnie Wheeler
-County Coroner Steve W. Hartshorn
-Crossett School Board Zone 1 Representative Robert E. Cornelius
-Hamburg School Board Zone 1 Representative James “Jim” Wells