District Judge Chris Carnahan announced that he will seek the office of Ninth State District Court, Division One, in the nonpartisan general election in March of 2020. “I have been privileged to serve as both a Circuit and District Judge in Faulkner and Van Buren Counties. I believe judges must serve as unbiased referees in court cases. Having presided over thousands of cases, serving as a deputy prosecutor and private attorney in thousands of other matters, I know what I want in a judge, and that’s a fair shake to make my argument. I’ve been that kind of judge and my pledge is to continue to be that judge.”
Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Judge Carnahan to his District Court position in January of this year. Prior to that the Governor had appointed him to fill the vacancy created when newly elected Court of Appeals Justice Mike Murphy vacated that seat in 2018.
Before joining the Bench, Carnahan served the State of Arkansas as General Counsel for the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for now U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland, and Deputy Prosecutor for the 15th Judicial District in western Arkansas where he served as juvenile and drug court prosecutor among other duties. Judge Carnahan has twice served as Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and as city attorney for several municipalities in Central Arkansas and the River Valley. He is licensed to practice in both the United States Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
Judge Carnahan currently presides over District Court for Faulkner and Van Buren counties and the cities of Conway, Clinton, Greenbrier, Damascus, Fairfield Bay, and Vilonia in both civil and criminal matters. He also operates the Ninth District Sobriety Court for persons charged with second and third driving while intoxicated voluntary participants with treatment teams in both Faulkner and Van Buren counties. The Judge is exploring the ability of his court to offer a literacy component to sentencing and a misdemeanor drug treatment court for first time offenders who meet screening criteria.
A resident of Conway, Judge Carnahan formerly served as a Faulkner County Election Commissioner. He is active in the Conway Men’s Chorus, serves of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, and is a member of the National Rifle Association. He is a 1990 graduate of LR McClellan High School, a double major in Mathematics and History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Central Arkansas, and obtained his law degree from the UALR Bowen School of Law.