February 10, 2016 Edition

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Early voting begins Tuesday

Early voting for the March 1 Preferential Primary begins on Tuesday in the County Clerk's Office, located in the Lawrence County Courthouse in Walnut Ridge.

Lawrence County has several races on the ballot in the Democratic primary, including county judge and sheriff, five justice of the peace positions and one constable position.

For county judge, incumbent Dale Freeman will face challenger John Thomison, and for sheriff, incumbent Jeff Yates will face Richy Thatcher. With no Republican candidates, the primary will determine the winner of these offices.

Those seeking Democratic nominations as justice of the peace are:

District 1, Buddy Williams and Glenn Smith. The winner will face William “Bill” Powell, Independent, in November.

District 5, Incumbent Ernest (Junior) Briner and Farrah Matthews. The winner will face Jeff Taylor, Republican, in November.

District 4, Incumbent Douglas Wayland, Rose Ehrhardt and Heath Davis.

District 6, Incumbent Nathan Crafton and Ronald Ingram.

District 9, Incumbent Alex A. Latham and Tim Allison.

There are no other candidates in these races, so the primary will determine these seats.

The Democratic race for constable is between incumbent Kenneth Fears and Wendell S. Jones. There are no other candidates so the primary will determine the winner.

Election day
is March 1

A 2014 bill approved by the Arkansas legislature moved the state's 2016 Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan Election from mid-May to March 1.

Arkansas is one of several southern states that moved up its 2016 primary in order to give voters more influence in selecting the presidential candidates for the November 2016 General Election.

Extended hours will be offered for early voting, with the County Clerk's Office open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays starting Tuesday. Saturday voting will also be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early voting will end at 5 p.m. on Feb. 29.

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