Arkansas holds non-partisan judicial races today

Chris Rizo May 20, 2008, 1:46pm



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline)-Arkansas holds its nonpartisan judicial election Tuesday, with observers watching closely the races for three seats in the state Court of Appeals.

In central Arkansas, Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen faces a challenge from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Rita Gruber.

Gruber, a Sherwood circuit judge since 1990, is trying to become the first challenger to unseat an appeals court judge in eight years.

In office since 1996, Griffen has argued that experience on the state's second-highest court is reason to re-elect him.

Griffen, an ordained Baptist minister, has lost two races for the Supreme Court since 2004.

The two candidates are vying for the District 6, Position 1. The district includes Pulaski, Saline and Perry counties.

In the Northwest part of the state, attorneys Courtney Henry of Fayetteville and Ron Williams of Springdale are running for the District 3, Position 2 seat being vacated by Judge Sarah Hefley.

In Southeast Arkansas, District Judge Waymond Brown faces attorney Eugene Hunt, both of Pine Bluff, for a District 7 position.

In addition to the appeals court's races, 22 circuit court seats are contested.

State elections officials say voter turnout will likely be low since there are no statewide or congressional contested races on the ballot.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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