Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson has formally announced his bid for re-election as Division 3 judge for Judicial District 20, which encompasses Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy counties.
"It has been my pleasure to serve the people of the 20th district for the past 12 years and with their help and support I am seeking re-election to continue my service," Clawson said in a release issued Friday.
"One of my goals is to expand the Drug Court program into Van Buren and Searcy counties. This is a program that has shown tremendous benefit to the participants. It gives the opportunity to people with a chemical dependency to improve their lives and become a contributing member of society."
Clawson founded Faulkner County Drug Court in 2003, and still presides over the program. A graduate of Conway High School and Hendrix College, Clawson has served as circuit judge for District 20 since May of 1995. Since April of 2003, he has served as Administrative Judge for the district.
"During the almost 30 years that I have practiced law and served as judge in this community, the diversity and the population in all three counties has changed tremendously," Clawson said.
"With the recent development of our natural resources, the continued industrial and retail growth, we can only anticipate that the population will continue to grow and the demands on the court system will continue to increase. I worked closely with our legislative delegation in the last session and as a result of those efforts a fifth judgeship was created for this district. Technological innovations have certainly aided efficiency in the administration of dockets, and Faulkner County has been part of two pilot programs to further that efficiency.
"However, I believe there is no good substitute for experience in dealing with people's lives, families and property. My parents, Charles and Dorothy Clawson, operated a family business in Conway for 30 years. I saw on a day-to-day basis that they treated their customers with honesty, integrity and respect. I believe that I have brought these values to the bench and will continue to do so."
From 1979 to 1987, Clawson was chief deputy prosecutor for District 20. He received his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1978, and after serving on the UALR law staff for a year he opened a general practice in Conway.
He is a graduate of the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada at Reno and is a member of the Arkansas Judicial Council. Clawson has served on the Drug Court Committee, the Trial Judges Section, the Judicial Resources and Assessment Committee, the Arkansas Bar Association and is a 2004 graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute.
"Knowledge of the law, experience and respect to all of those who come before the bench I believe qualify me to continue to serve," Clawson said. "I would ask the citizens of this district to consider my qualifications and background, and I request their support in the May 2008 judicial election."
After Division 4 Judge Rhonda Wood first announced her candidacy for an undetermined position, attorney David Hogue announced his Division 5 bid. Clawson is the third attorney to formally announce his candidacy for 2008. No opponent has been announced in Division 3.
Clawson is a member of Second Baptist Church and is a Mason who serves on the Faulkner County Fair Parade Committee. He also sits on the administrative board for the Faulkner County Historical Society.
His wife of 34 years, Donna Clawson, is a teacher at Simon Intermediate School. They have three sons.