Local candidates take part in first filing day for 2020 election

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Monday marked the beginning of Arkansas’ election season, as candidates could begin filing to officially be listed on ballots. State-office candidates filed in Little Rock, while county officials went to local courthouses. In Washington County, the filing process was different than past years.

“The very first time I filed, I had a little baby with me,” said Eva Madison, a sitting Justice of the Peace running for reelection in Washington County. “He’s off at school now. He’s about to turn 10 years old. I kinda wish he could come with me, but he gets to do plenty of stuff related to quorum court.”

In Washington County, a new constitutional amendment made some county-elected offices four-year terms. Only JPs and constables are up for elections this cycle.

“A lot of people are used to seeing every two years that county judge on the ballot, but they won’t see that this year,” said Jennifer Price, Washington County’s Director of Elections. “This will be our first ballot with just JP offices and the constable offices.”

Price said JP candidates like Madison must have a few things on hand when they come to file. The process is open until next Tuesday.

“The party has a form for the candidates to fill out along with a filing fee,” Price said.

First-day filing brings out excitement for serious candidates, Price said.

“It’s a special day for the candidates, and of course, everyone sometimes wants to be first,” Price said. “So, we’ll just see who that ends up being.”

Madison filed to run for her sixth term.

“I was the very first one to file, and it appears so far I’m the only one to file,” Madison said.

But the fight to November 2020 will be long, and after next Tuesday, races will be much more clear.

“My former boss, Sen. David Pryor, used to say you run scared or unopposed,” Madison said. “Until next Tuesday, I’ll be waiting to see if I’m gonna be scared or unopposed.”

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