A couple of sources say that they’ve been told by former state Rep. Kathy Webb of Little Rock that she plans to run for Pulaski County judge. The topic came up when she attended a luncheon today for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.
Webb has always seemed destined for future political involvement after term limits brought an end to her House tenure at the end of 2012. She finished as co-chair of the Joint Budget Committee. I’d thought city government might hold an attraction for her. She’s currently executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.
I reached Webb by email. She responded to the report:
I am going to explore the possibility. I would not commit till a bit later till I finish chemo. Am at UAMS now for 4th treatment.
The team that surrounded Webb for support in the recent Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Webb’s treatment for cancer was featured in the Democrat-Gazette Oct. 13.
The position is open because long-time Judge Buddy Villines is not seeking re-election next year. Only one candidate has announced so far — former Democratic state Rep. Barry Hyde of North Little Rock. As luck would have it, I spoke with Hyde earlier today. I reacted negatively recently to a Democrat-Gazette article about his announcement which portrayed him as building his run for office around job creation. Job creation is like apple pie to me. We all love it. But I think it’s low on the primary list of goals for a county judge, who must run the jail, courthouse and rural services with a modest amount of money. Hyde insisted to me that he sees the broader picture of the value of good infrastructure and the need for an alliance-building political figure — which Villines has been. He insists that the D-G article, in condensing a longer interview, didn’t get around to some of his remarks that mirror some of the points I made yesterday.
A primary campaign would allow time for elaboration.
I called Hyde back to mention what I’d learned about Webb’s interest. He said he was “shocked.” He said he’d talked to Webb about his race and she’d encouraged him to run.