The filing date for the 2014 Preferential Primary is over and five candidates are vying to be the county’s first elected county clerk. Two men are seeking the position of Van Buren County sheriff.
The county clerk position was created when voters split the office of county/circuit clerk in 2012. Currently, Bobbye Bennett holds the position, but as an appointee, she was not eligible to run for the office.
Those seeking the job are: Pam Bradford, a Republican, who currently works in the county judge’s office; Jeff Hall, a Democrat who is the county’s election coordinator; Angie Hutchins, a Democrat, currently a 9th judicial district deputy; Thomas Hogan, an independent who works at Family Dollar and was longtime manager at Thriftway; and Shannon Deckard, an independent who works for the Blagg Law Firm.
Deckard and Hogan will not be on the ballot until the November election.
Longtime Sheriff Scott Bradley, a Democrat, has drawn a Republican opponent. Lucas Emberton, a member of the 20th Judicial Drug Crime Task Force and the Highway 110 Volunteer fire chief, is seeking the job as well.
County officials Judge Roger Hooper, Circuit Clerk Ester Bass, Assessor Trina Jones, Collector Lisa Nunley, Treasurer Kim Hunley and Coroner Joe Tsosie did not draw any opponents.
Also on the ballot without opponents are Quorum Court members Dell Holt, Dale Jams, James Kirkendoll, Gary Linn, Randy Story, James Reed and Robert "Bogie" Bramlett. Story, a former Democrat, has switched to the Republican Party.
Two races are opposed. In District 4, Republican Mary Phillips is challenging incumbent Charles "Chuck" Willard, an independent. In District 8, Democrat Kevin Housley, a Democrat, is running for the seat as is Jackie Sikes, a Republican.
None of the constable races drew more than one candidate, and five townships have vacant constable seats.