Officeholders, particularly Democrats, stole the show Thursday as filing began for party candidates in Faulkner County.
A dozen incumbents were among the 16 hopefuls who visited the county clerk’s office after the filing period opened at noon. Ten of the incumbents are Democrats, including County Judge Preston Scroggin, County Clerk Melinda Reynolds, Circuit Clerk Rhonda Wharton, Treasurer Regina Oakley and Collector Steve Simon.
Republican incumbents who filed are District 2 Justice of the Peace Randy Higgins of Greenbrier and Palarm Township Constable Charles Fulmer of Conway.
Filing continues through noon next Thursday. Filing opens at 8 a.m. each day and closes at 4 p.m. Friday and again Monday through Wednesday.
"I would say it was a pretty normal day to start a filing period," Reynolds, who is seeking an 11th term, said. "You know, some people want to be first to file and some want to be last."
Judging by the rumor mill, which always swirls at this point in a political season, Reynolds said the filing period "could be a little busier than usual this year."
The primary election is May 22. Early voting begins May 7.
Independent candidates for county office have until May 21 to file.
Scroggin of Vilonia is seeking a fourth term as county judge. He is a former state representative and Vilonia alderman.
Reynolds of Greenbrier is completing her 20th year as county clerk. She has spent 31 years in the clerk’s office. Reynolds has been opposed only once in nine re-election bids.
Wharton of Conway is seeking a fourth term as circuit clerk. She served as chief deputy clerk for 15 years prior to be elected in 1992.
Oakley is from El Paso and Simon lives in Conway.
Other Democratic incumbents who filed Thursday are District 1 JP Randy Ingram of Enola, District 4 JP Barbara Mathes of Mayflower, District 7 JP John Pickett of Conway, District 10 JP Johnny Brady of Vilonia and Cadron Township Constable John Edwards of Conway.
Angela Hill of Vilonia filed as a Democratic candidate for assessor. She has served as chief deputy assessor for 20 years. Assessor Jeff Stephens of Conway, a Democrat, will not seek an 11th term.
Sheriff candidate Max Young of Conway is among three Republican challengers who filed Thursday. Steven Bannick and Damon Edwards filed as JP District 1 and 12 candidates, respectively. Both are from Greenbrier.