The Craighead County judge will not be running to be the next Jonesboro mayor after all.
On July 23, 2020, current Craighead County Judge Marvin Day announced his intention to run for the Jonesboro mayor seat after Mayor Harold Perrin revealed that he would not be seeking reelection. Perrin is stepping down as mayor on Dec. 31, 2020, citing health issues.
Day later released a statement that Perrin had encouraged him to pursue the mayor’s seat. He has served as county judge since Jan. 1, 2019.
However, Matt Campbell at the Blue Hog Report, in a blog post, cited an Arkansas Constitution amendment that would prevent Day from running for mayor. In 2016, Arkansas citizens passed Amendment 95, which created Article 7, Section 54 of the state Constitution, which states that “a person elected or appointed to any of the following county offices shall not, during the term for which he or she has been elected, be appointed to elected to any civil office in this state.” The list of offices includes county judge, justice of the peace, sheriff, circuit clerk, county clerk, assessor, coroner, treasurer, county surveyor and collector of taxes.
County judges in Arkansas serve for four-year terms. In Day’s case, he has been elected to serve through 2022.
Day reportedly has met with legal counsel, who have consulted with him on the possibility of overturning Amendment 95. In a press release, Day said the amendment’s language had “serious flaws” and that the “out-of-pocket cost to challenge the state court system could be as high as $75,000.00.”
He did not cite specifics for the flaws or for the estimates of the court costs.
In his statement, Day said that he would not be running due to his belief that the issue of Amendment 95 would likely not be resolved before November and there was no certainty that his name would be on the ballot.