The item yesterday about judicial politics brought some news of recent talk at the Arkansas Bar Association about potential candidacies for the Arkansas Supreme Court. Top of the list aggressively building contacts for the race was Circuit Judge Shawn Womack of Mountain Home, the former Republican legislator.
If recent events are a guide (see Faulkner County and its circuit, court of appeals and Supreme Court candidates), he’ll use the usual dog whistles. He’ll brand himself as a “conservative,” campaign at Republican county committee events, perhaps bring in a celebrity Republican as a robocaller and otherwise position himself as the Republican candidate for what is nominally a non-partisan position. It worked pretty well for several candidates, including rising Supreme Court member Rhonda Wood. Wood’s Conway pal, Republican Mike Maggio, came a cropper on account of his own separate problems in his aim to join the Court of Appeals.
Judge Dan Kemp of Mountain View is also mentioned as a candidate.
UPDATE: Kemp is considering the chief justice slot for which Justice Courtney Goodson is gunning, I’m advised. Womack is angling for Justice Paul Danielson’s seat. He turns 70 in 2016.