October 21, 2015 Edition

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Thomison announces
bid for county judge

Smithville resident John Thomison has formally announced his intent to run for Lawrence County Judge in the Democratic Primary on March 1, 2016, with the following statement:

"In order to encourage economic growth and promote all that Lawrence County has to offer, I will work closely with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the NEA Intermodal Authority and area business leaders. I have also worked very hard to develop relationships with federal and state leaders to help benefit Lawrence County.

"I will be readily available to listen to the concerns of citizens and work with them to make home a better place in order to serve as a county judge for all our citizens. Lawrence County is poised to make great strides in the near future. I have the ability and relationships to help Lawrence County move forward.

"I have been married to Rita Bilbrey Thomison for 38 years. We have raised two children: Lindsay Thomison Penn, who is married to Chris Penn, and John Hollis Thomison III. I am retired after teaching for 33 years at Sloan-Hendrix High School in Imboden.

"I also spent two and a half years with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. I am a rancher and a lifelong livestock producer. I am currently a certified bus driver for the Sloan-Hendrix School District.

"I came to Lawrence County in 1975 on a basketball scholarship to Southern Baptist College, now Williams Baptist College. I graduated in 1980 from Arkansas State University with a bachelor's degree in social science and began my teaching career. I also received physical education/coaching certification from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 1983-84.

"I have a passion for community service and have served on numerous boards and committees, including the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Board of Governors, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board, the Smithville Fire Improvement District Board, the Smithville Cemetery Board and the Ralph Joseph Youth Leadership Committee.

"In addition, I am a graduate of Leadership Lawrence County, a former mayor of Smithville, a former chief of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, a former chairman of the Lawrence County Democratic Party and a committeeman for Lawrence County.

"I am a member of the Smithville United Methodist Church, Smithville Masonic Lodge #29, Scottish Rite Valley of Little Rock, Arkansas Cattleman's Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.

"My primary focus is my family, promoting Lawrence County economic development in a dignified and professional manner, managing the county government fairly and equally and promoting a friendly, welcoming environment in the courthouse.

"I am humbled and honored by the support I have received so far and look forward to meeting voters in the weeks to come. I pledge to give 110 percent in time and effort to the office of county judge, and I will work hard for all residents in Lawrence County."

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