(Jonesboro, AR) – Craighead County Judge Marvin Day released the following statement this morning upon deciding not to seek the Mayor of Jonesboro position.
“After consulting with my family and friends, I have decided that I will not be able to run for the office of Jonesboro mayor. I am making the announcement today to allow time for other citizens who may have an interest in this position to gather the necessary signatures and file by the deadline on Wednesday.
“Over the last two weeks, since Mayor Perrin told me that he would not be running for re-election and asking me to consider replacing him, I have visited with many friends and supporters who encouraged me to run. During this time, I have also met with legal counsel who have researched and discussed the apparent obstacles to running found in Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 95 which was passed in 2016.
“Their research has indicated that while there are serious flaws in the language of Amendment 95, that if challenged, would most likely be overturned, the out-of-pocket cost to challenge the state court system could be as high as $75,000.00. The real issue for me was that that it is very likely that this would not be resolved before election day. In good conscious, I could not ask the people of Jonesboro to vote for me without the certainty that I would be on the ballot come election day.
“I truly love being Craighead County Judge. I would not have considered running for mayor had not the circumstances as they were with Mayor Perrin’s health and his request asking me to fill his position in such a short amount of time before the filing period, occurred.
“I look forward to working with the future mayor of Jonesboro, as I have worked with Mayor Perrin and the other Craighead County mayors over the last 18 months, to make Craighead County and its cities a better, safer and more prosperous place to live.
“Again, I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments and calls that I have received over the last two weeks and look forward to focusing on my duties as Craighead County Judge.”
Finally!!! Something positive for the real people of Jonesboro!!!
I think he would have lost the challenge. Similar language elsewhere in the state Constitution prevents state legislators from seeking any other public office during their elected term; I think that applies even if they resign from the legislature. I don’t see how he could have gotten around it; you can’t say the legislature didn’t mean what they wrote when they drafted the amendment.
I’m surprised no one has caught a different issue related to that amendment: If a vacancy in one of those 4-year county offices was filled more than four months before the election (most notably happened TWICE to the Fulton County judge’s office recently), per Amendment 29 that office MUST go on the ballot in November for the remaining two years of the term. The amendment on its face seems to apply only to gubernatorial appointments, but the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in the early 1980’s that it ALSO applies to quorum court appointments as those were made by the Governor until the 1970’s. Those saying the appointments last the remainder of the 4-year term are relying on a statute enacted when the terms were still 2 years, thus Amendment 29’s midterm election clause was never invoked. The 1980’s case says state laws inconsistent with Amendment 29 on the subject of vacancies are unconstitutional. I wonder how counties’ failure to put these vacancies on the November ballot as Amendment 29 requires will affect them.