Jim Baker has announced his candidacy for Faulkner County Judge in 2014.
Baker retired from the National Bank of Arkansas in December where he spent 11 years as vice-president for business development. Baker served on the Arkansas Claims Commission in 2013.
Baker said he wanted to run because it would allow him to help the community.
"I’d like to get in a position to help build on the foundation of Faulkner County and help people," he said. "I’ve always felt like I volunteered to help causes and all this. I’d like to use my background and experiences to help the people, citizens of Faulkner County."
As county judge, Baker said he would not try to amend anything, but rather add onto what has been developed.
"I’m going to try to build on the foundation that has been put in place by the present and former county officials or county judges," he said. He also said he would try to "address the needs of the citizens of Faulkner County. There is tremendous growth in this county and the challenges of growth is a big issue that faces the county. I’m not changing, I just want to build on the foundation. I’m not running against change, I’m running to enhance the foundation and build on it for the future."
Baker said he would focus mainly on communication with different areas of the county including mainly the school system.
"We’ll have to address the needs of the school districts, which I hope to form partnerships with the school districts and that’s primarily to keep the students safe to and from school — county roads," he said. "You’ve got cities, towns and communities that have needs and I want to have an open line to those folks, the mayors and city councils in those cities. I think it’s a good team effort to try to move things forward in Faulkner County."
If elected, Baker said residents of the county would have access to the county judge’s office under his open door policy.
Baker is a retired Command Sgt. Major in the Army Reserve Components and also worked as the Administrator of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration alongside former president Bill Clinton.
He has been married to his wife Linda for 42 years and has two children, Monica and Jason Baker, that both attended the Conway school system.
Baker graduated from Southern Arkansas University and has lived in Faulkner County for 46 years, since 1968.