Following a vigorous campaign season, voters of the 20th Judicial District decided four local judge races on Tuesday.
Judge David M. Clark has defeated Angela Byrd as Fourth Division Circuit Court Judge for the 20th Judicial District of Arkansas.
Clark received 61.53 percent of the votes from 52 precincts, while Byrd received 38.47 percent.
"They felt there was no need for any change — the voting public doesn’t care for negativity — they care about issues that affect real people," Clark said, "and they expect better of a candidate in a judicial race, and that was reflected. I look forward to Mrs. Byrd practicing before me and I’m sure she’ll continue to have a great law practice in Faulkner County."
Judge Clark has served on the newly created Fifth Division Circuit Court since he was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe and took office July 1, 2007. He oversees all cases filed by the Department of Human Services involving dependency neglect, half of the probate docket, 65 percent of the domestic relations docket and 20 percent of the civil docket in all three counties.
Clark graduated from Conway High School in 1985 and then attended the University of Central Arkansas where he received a double major in math and political science. Upon obtaining his college degrees he then went on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, School of Law. While attending law school he was the Associate Editor of the Law Review and graduated with highest honors, finishing sixth in his class.
Judge Clark comes from a long line of attorneys who have practiced in Faulkner County. His brother, John, father, Bill, grandfather, William, and great uncle Sam, all have had distinguished legal careers in Faulkner County. Judge Clark decided not to return home upon completing his legal education and took a job with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial District. While there he had the privilege to work in both the drug unit and gang unit and gain valuable trial experience.
In December of 1996 he was afforded the opportunity to return to Conway and serve the community in which he was raised. At that point he went to work for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of the 20th Judicial District. While working in that capacity he continued to try numerous cases and strived to ensure that justice was always served for the victims of crime. In January of 2007 he was appointed Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and held that position until assuming the bench.
Voters choose Murphy
Mike Murphy has narrowly defeated Amy Brazil in the First Division Circuit Judge election.
Murphy has been Conway’s city attorney since 1990. He has been re-elected to that position for five continuous terms. Murphy served as a special judge in District Court for Jack Roberts several times and has recently "filled in" for Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson.
Murphy is a board member for the Conway Public Schools Foundation, the Faulkner County Museum Commission and serves on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council and Community Action for Domestic Violence Awareness. Murphy is a member of the Arkansas and Faulkner County Bar Associations and is a past-president and current member of the Arkansas City Attorneys Association. A graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute, he has served on several local non-profit community boards.
H.G. Foster will assume the position of Fifth Division Circuit Judge in the 20th Judicial District after defeating Doralee Chandler. Foster was unavailable for comment Tuesday night. Foster has operated a solo law practice, served as a deputy prosecuting
attorney, as the elected Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District (1987-2006), as the State Special Prosecuting Attorney (200612) and currently serves as Circuit Judge for the First Division of the 20th Judicial District.
He has been Chairman of the Special Team on the Prevention of Domestic Violence (S.T.O.P.D.V.),the Democratic representative on the Faulkner County Board of Election Commissioners, the Arkansas Crime Information Center Supervisory Board, is the governor’s appointee to the Legislative Task Force on Abused and Neglected Children and has served as president of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association.
In the Second Division Circuit Judge race between Troy Braswell and Joe Don Winningham, Braswell had a narrow margin of victory over Winningham with 83 more votes.