By Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
Races in Spring River Country are going to be fierce this year with numerous contested races for county offices. The filing deadline for the May 24 preferential primary ended March 1. For the first time in both Sharp and Fulton County history, all candidates who filed were either Republican or Independent, which will likely result in numerous runoffs.
Four candidates filed for Sharp County Judge. Mark Counts, Jeremy Langston, Steve Stauffer and Malcom Thomas will vie for the position.
The Sharp County Sheriff’s race is contested but with only two, as opposed to four candidates, with Shane Russell and Aaron Presser running.
In other contested county races, both Wanda Girtman and Conway Spurlock filed for Treasurer. Renee Clay-Circle and Independent Seth Wortham filed for the office of Coroner. Uncontested county races include, Alisa Black filed for Clerk, Kathy Nix for Assessor, Michelle Daggett for Collector and Michael Pickering for Surveyor.
There are also several contested Justice of the Peace positions in Sharp County, in District Six, Jackie Pickett and Everette McGuire are vying for the position. A three way race has also developed between Jason Bacon, Joseph Blackburn and Buell Wilkes, for District Seven.
Uncontested county justice of the peace positions include Kevin Dienst,for District One; Briana DiIorio for District Two; Joey Barnes for District Three; Chuck Murphy for District Four; Tommy Estes for District Five; Jeral Hastings for District Eight and Todd Price for Distict Nine.
In Constable races there are also a few contested races. In District Three, David Gruger and Justin Scheel will vie for the seat. Phillip Pickett and David Woods are both running for constable in District Four. Also, Isreal Hester and Luke Vander Vort are running in District six.
Uncontested constable races include Ashton Hester for District One; George Jackson for District Two;Kelly Newcom for District Five; Cody Bailey for District Seven; there were no filings for District Eight and Aaron Hunter has filed for District Nine.
A three-way race is also on for House District 3 with Republican candidates Tom Bryant and Steven Painter and Independent Steve Parsons all filing.
In District 23, Scott Flippo is challenged by Derek Hunter.
In District 2, Rep. Marsh Davis. Hazelle Marie Whited and Teresa Norman have filed for the seat.
In House District 27, Republicans Steven Walker, Alan Yarbrough and Timmy Reid have filed.
In District 28, Republicans Bart Schulz and Chris Bellar have both filed.
In District 22, which encompasses all Sharp and Independence County as well as a portion of Fulton, Izard, Lawrence, and Cleburne County Republican Candidates Senator James Sturch and Ethan Barnes have filed.
In Fulton County, three candidates have filed for the position of County Judge with Kenneth Crow, David Curtis and Todd Doty.
The Sheriff’s race is also a three way race in Fulton County with candidates John Cawvey, Dallas Montgomery and Jacob Smith filing.
There are no contested races besides judge and sheriff. . Vickie Bishop filed for County and Circuit Clerk; Cari Long filed for Assessor; Michalle Watkins for Collector; Steven Barker for Coroner; Brian Keen for Surveyor and Barry Abney for Treasurer.
Clay Divelbiss was the only candidate to file for constable in Township 1.
In Justice races candidates, Matthew Stevens and Chris Newberry filed for District One; Justin Luther, Dennis Kinder and John Emery for District Two; Albert Roork and Joanna Defoe for District Three; Gary Phillips for District Four; Robert Elliot for District Five; Marjorie Rogers for District 6; Ray Matthew for District 7; Jimmy Marler and Jackie Privett for District 8 and Carrie Andrews for District 9.