Potential candidates looking to run for local or state office will be able to file their candidacy starting Feb. 22.
Candidates running as partisans — that is, affiliated with a party — can begin filing at noon that day. Nonpartisan candidates can file beginning at 3 p.m.
Partisans will have until noon on March 1, while nonpartisans will have until 3 p.m. that same day.
Candidate packets can be picked up in the county clerk’s office.
While qualifying isn’t officially open yet, a number of candidates for local offices, including clerk of court, circuit clerk, county judge, Quorum Court justice of the peace, and assessor, among others, have already announced their intention to seek the office or to seek re-election.
In addition to city, county and state offices, in Crossett all five school board seats will be up for grabs. The Crossett Board of Education opted to seek a new election after four of the five districts had to be redrawn following population shifts accounted for in the 2020 census.
The school board election could be particularly consequential because, in light of Superintendent Gary Williams’ resignation effective June 30, the district will be hiring a new superintendent in the coming months, meaning the district’s policy-setting body and top administrator could have all new faces at the board table.
Even though the positions would not ordinarily be up for re-election, Ashley County’s seats in the state General Assembly are also set for a ballot contest because of census-driven redistricting.
District 26 Sen. Ben Gilmore and District 9 Rep. Howard Beaty have both announced their intention to seek re-election. They were both elected as Republicans in 2020 and took office in 2021.
In the adopted 2021 State Senate maps, the area Gilmore will seek election in is labeled as District 1 and would be changed to include all of Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Drew and Cleveland counties, as well as portions of Lincoln, Jefferson and Grant counties.
Redistricting saw the area that Beaty will seek re-election in renumbered as No. 95 and redrawn in a way that cut out that district’s representation of Drew County; it is now composed of all of Ashley and Chicot counties.
Those who wish to qualify for state executive offices — for example, governor or lieutenant governor — must also do so by March 1.
Once qualifying closes, early voting for the preferential primary elections will begin May 9 and last through the Monday prior to the election. The preferential primary, the nonpartisan general election, and the school board election will be May 24.
The deadline to register to vote for the May 24 election is April 25.
The primary runoff election will be June 21, and — if a runoff is needed for the school board — it will be included on that ballot. The deadline to register to vote for that election will be May 23.
The state’s general election will be Nov. 8.