As election season heats up, there are a few things we in Faulkner County can be thankful for, not the least of which is that our most important county officers will be spending the next few months concentrating solely on their jobs and not having to balance them with the rigors of a campaign.
Through one reason or another, our county judge, county clerk, sheriff and prosecuting attorney do not have to attend forums or rallies or go from door to door looking for support. While that is usually natural during this time of the year, each officer has their own reasons for sidestepping a November battle for their jobs.
County Judge Allen Dodson was appointed by the Quorum Court when Preston Scroggin stepped down to take a state appointed position. Because of Dodson’s appointment, he is not allowed to run for another term. His time in the office will run a little less than two years, but he has dealt with much during that time, including the fallout from the Mayflower Oil Spill and the tornado that devastated Vilonia, Mayflower and other parts of the county. Many have been extremely pleased with his work and wouldn’t mind if he continued down that path, but the rules are clear. Dodson will step down in January after fulfilling his duty.
Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock will continue his job, but he had to do some campaigning recently to keep it. By defeating Joe Taylor in the Republican primary and by having no opponent in the general election, Shock will settle into another 2-year term, his second since taking over from Karl Byrd.
Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland didn’t even have to do any initial campaigning. No one stepped up to challenge him this time around, and the result is a position that didn’t spend any time dealing with the election outside of placing his name on the ballot.
County Clerk Melinda Reynolds is retiring after this term, and her position will be filled by either Margaret Darter or Aaron Knight.
So although voters may have problems with one or more of these office-holders, the one thing they will not be able to say is that they spent too much time on the campaign trail. So the unique situation Faulkner County is in is that we can allow these people to do their jobs 100 percent for at least the rest of the year.
During election season, it’s one less thing to worry about.
(The Editorial Board consists of Publisher Zach Ahrens, Editor Ricky Duke and Reporter Joe Lamb)