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Last week, the five-person race for the new judgeship in the Washington-Madison County Judicial District was examined.

Today, the new and "open" judicial spot in Benton County for state Judicial District 19-West, will be examined.

This is a new seat, created by the state Legislature in 2019. The six-year term is for a circuit/chancery judge handling all kinds of cases on the docket. The pay is $168,096 per year for a six-year term.

State Circuit Court

Judiciary 19-West, Division 7

Two veteran Benton County attorneys are seeking this seat:

• Tony Noblin, of Rogers, is an attorney at Noblin Law Firm in Rogers. Before becoming a lawyer, Noblin worked as a DEA task force officer, a drug task force officer for the 19th Judicial District, a Rogers police officer and as an intelligence controller in the United States Air Force.

Noblin is a member of the Rogers Planning Commission.

• Christine Horwart of Bentonville has been an attorney for 25 years. Her civil law practice focuses on domestic relations law and trial practice, but she has handled a variety of cases in her career.

Horwart is married to Bentonville attorney Paul Davidson.

The winner of this race will take office, Jan. 1, 2021.

The other Circuit Court Judges in the 19-West Judicial District, are unopposed for reelection in 2020.

In Benton County, there is also a race for the District Court, Division 1, Division 3 seat being vacated by Judge Stephen Thomas, who is retiring from the bench.

District courts have jurisdiction over traffic violations, misdemeanor offenses, violations of state law and local ordinances, preliminary felony matters and civil matters involving contracts, damage to personal property and recovery of personal property in which the amount in controversy doesn't exceed $25,000.

District judges are paid $147,000 a year. Terms are six years.

Benton County

District Court 2,

Division 3,

The two candidates are:

• A.J. Anglin is a Siloam Springs native, is a graduate of John Brown University, and graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. He started his law career working from 1996 to 2003 as a police officer and detective with Siloam Springs Police Department. From 2003 to 2018, Anglin was a deputy prosecuting attorney at Benton County Prosecutor's Office. He and his wife Lorena have two children who attend Siloam Springs Schools.

• David Bailey of Siloam Springs is currently the Siloam Springs Prosecuting Attorney. He announced for the district court seat last July. Bailey, an attorney for 23 years in Benton County, works in the area of family and civil law in Siloam Springs. He said safety would be a top priority if elected district judge.

Bailey and his wife Carla live near Gravette.

District Court Judgeship

District 2, Division 4

Washington County

After the announced retirement of Judge William Storey, as the District Judge for District 2, Division 4, three candidates are seeking this seat.

A portion of the District 2, Division 4, judgeship, will appear on some ballots in Benton County, where portions of the city of Springdale, cross over into Benton County.

All three candidates are from Fayetteville and UA Law School graduates. The candidates are:

• David Dero Phillips, 58, has been a deputy city attorney in Springdale since 2013. Phillips was a deputy prosecutor in district and circuit courts in Carroll County from 2008 to 2013. Before that, he spent 20 years in the Army, serving as a military policeman.

• Mark Scalise, 59, has been a lawyer for 27 years in Washington County and Philadelphia. He is a former deputy prosecutor in Washington and Madison counties.

• Terra Stephenson, 44, is senior deputy prosecutor in the 4th District, where she assists supervising a staff of almost 40. Stephenson has handled thousands of felony cases in every aspect of criminal law in her 13 years as a prosecutor.

All these names will appear on the ballots for March 3. Any run-off in a race of three will be held in November.

• • •

Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at maylontrice@yahoo.com. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/29/2020

Print Headline: Race for new Benton County Judge draws two

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