Jim Hall, a Republican from Monticello, was again denied a court bid to get on the ballot for state House in a hearing today before Special Circuit Judge David Laser.
That’s according to Chris Burks, lawyer for the Arkansas Democratic Party, which had earlier gotten Hall declared ineligible on account of a hot check conviction in Faulkner County. We reported earlier this week that Hall had gone to circuit court in Faulker County this week in attempt to clear his record to make him ballot eligible. Prosecutor Cody Hiland, a Republican, contended his office had merely routinely agreed to a sealing of Hall’s record because he’d cleared the debt on the check charge. But, as Burks explained, the statute for sealing of a record includes expungement of the record.
Hall went back to court to argue that his record was no clean and that votes for him in November should be counted.
According to Burks, Laser ruled today that Hall remained ineligible for his conviction of an “infamous crime,” a constitutional ground for ballot disqualification. Burks said the Faulkner County court order pertaining to Hall’s record that he presented in court this morning was not certified. It also listed Hall as pleading no contest to the check charge, when, Burks said, Hall had admitted — and earlier court records showed — that he had pleaded guilty.
Hall has vowed, if denied the ballot this year, to try again in two years. If his votes don’t count (his name will appear on Drew and Ashley County ballots in any case), it means that Democratic nominee LeeAnn Burch will be unopposed. The race is to succeed the late Rep. Sheila Lampkin, a Democrat.
Hall’s record is marked — if not from a constitutional point of view — by a string of other fracases.