Incumbent county officials announce plans to seek offices

Thursday, February 2, 2012
Incumbent county officials who have announced plans to seek re-election include, from left: Front--County clerk Pat Poole, treasurer Carolyn Morrisett and circuit clerk Janet Luff-Kilbreath. Back--Assessor Tracy Gurley, sheriff Gerald McClung and judge Gary Howell

Clay County Judge Gary Howell has announced his intention to seek re-election, subject to the May 22 Democratic Primary.

"I have lived all my life in Clay County and was raised in the Pollard community," Howell noted. "I've been married to Sally Howell for 45 years and we have three children, Jason Howell, Jenifer Cook and Julie Howell. We also have five grandsons, Jackson Howell, Garrett and Levi Cook and Wesley and Wyatt Childers," he added.

Howell noted that during his previous terms in office he's enjoyed working with, and meeting, the citizens of Clay County.

"I am announcing as a candidate for another term, and will do my best to work for and serve the citizens of Clay County in the future," he said.

Clay County Sheriff and Collector Gerald McClung has announced he will file for a third term in the May Democratic Primary election.

"I would like to thank the citizens of Clay County for their support during my service to them as Sheriff and Collector. I am asking for your continued support and vote in the upcoming May Democratic Primary Election."

McClung has lived in Clay County for the past 35 years and retired from the Arkansas State Police with 32 years of service. He and his wife, Kay, have raised their three sons, Greg, Heath and Matt, in Clay County and now have four grandchildren.

"One of the priorities of the Sheriff's Department has and will always be the war on drugs," McClung said. "The Quorum Court has agreed with me on this matter providing funds to the department to continue this ongoing battle.

"During my term as Clay County Sheriff and Collector I updated most of the department's fleet, purchasing vehicles -- two of which with federal grant money," McClung noted. "We've also put sheriff's department markings on all the patrol vehicles, along with cameras in units. We also hope to receive more federal grants this year to purchase new vehicles which will continue to be marked."

Deputies are now wearing full dress uniforms so the public can identify them, McClung added. Employees also are receiving training to keep them updated on the changes to laws and procedures.

McClung also noted he has continued the practice of housing prisoners for the city of Paragould, city of Marmaduke, Randolph County and Craighead County which has generated over $430,000 in revenue for Clay County this last year.

Since the ice storm in 2009, the department purchased generators for the Detention Center, which holds the Dispatch and 911 Center to insure citizens' calls are received during emergencies.

A grinder system has been installed in the sewer at the jail. Prior to installation of the grinder, inmates frequently flushed items that clogged the city's sewer system and had to be dug out.

McClung also noted the roof of the Detention Center has been worked on to stop leaks during rainy weather and said the Detention Center grounds have been cleared of scrap metal and other debris.

"Since I took over as Sheriff and Collector we have passed each jail standard check by the state and health Inspection," McClung said. "As sheriff and collector it has been a great pleasure working for the residents of Clay County. As always if you see something illegal or suspicious feel free to call our department at 870-598-2270 or 911."

Tracy Gurley has announced her candidacy for re-election as Clay County Assessor.

Gurley has worked in the assessor's office since 1990 and has been Assessor for the last nine years. Gurley says she has tried to serve effectively in this office by continuing her education through training and programs made available from the State of Arkansas. She also possesses a State Certified Residential Fee Appraisal license and is a level four Senior Appraiser through the International Association of Assessors.

"I have enjoyed being your County Assessor, and would like to continue working for you and the best for Clay County," Gurley said. "Members of the staff in the Assessor's Offices in Piggott and Corning are ready to serve you and answer any questions you may have. We want you to know that we will work with you in every way possible. I would like to thank everyone for all your help and would appreciate your continued support."

Her husband, Kevin Gurley, owns and operates Kevin's Tractor Repair in Piggott. They have two children, Allison, 18, and Reese, 13.

Gurley is an active member of the First Christian Church in Piggott.

Carolyn Morrisett has announced her candidacy for re-election as treasurer of Clay County, with offices in the Corning and Piggott courthouses. Her re-election is subject to the May 22 Democratic Primary.

She and her husband, Charles, reside and farm in the McDougal and Pollard area. They are parents of Christie Emmons of Kennett, Mo., Leslie Gearhart of Cordova, Tenn., and Julia Bristow of Jonesboro.

Morrisett is a member of the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce and the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce, and has been a member of the Lions Association for the past 11 years.

Over the 11 years she has served as treasurer, Morrisett has attended numerous treasurers' workshops to assist her ability to fulfill the job.

"I have enjoyed being your county treasurer and working for of Clay County," Morrisett said. "My work experience for Clay County consists of 14 years in the collector's office and 11 years in the treasurer's office. Your vote and support in this re-election effort will be appreciated."

Clay County Circuit Clerk Janet Luff Kilbreath has announced she will seek re-election to a sixth term in the Democratic primary on May 22.

Luff Kilbreath has been elected as a director for District One and a member of the Legislative, Nominating, Membership and Program Committees for the Arkansas Circuit Clerk's Association and currently is serving as a board member of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, she has served as a board member of the Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce and the State Land Commissioner's Advisory Board.

Over the course of the last nine years, she has received numerous hours of continuing education from the Arkansas County and Circuit Clerk's Association.

Luff Kilbreath is a life-long resident of Clay County and currently resides in McDougal with her husband, Marvin Kilbreath. She has a daughter, Heather Tullos of St. Francis.

"As your current Clay County Circuit Clerk, it has been a pleasure to serve the residents and communities of Clay County for the past nine years," Luff Kilbreath noted in making her announcement. "I would greatly appreciate your support in my sixth term re-election in the Democratic primary on May 22."

Pat Poole has announced she will seek re-election as Clay County Clerk, subject to the May 22 Democratic primary.

Pat and husband, Jim Poole, live in Piggott. They have two children, Chad Speer and wife, Nikki, and grandchildren, Marley and Maks River of Greenway and Ashley Hoggard and husband, Michael, and grandson, Caden, of Maumelle, Ark.

"I have enjoyed serving the citizens of Clay County and promise to continue to serve Clay County effectively," Poole said. "I consider it an honor and privilege to serve as your county clerk. Your vote and support in this re-election will be greatly appreciated."

Poole has worked in the county clerk's office for 24 years. During that time, she has received numerous hours of continuing education through the Association of Arkansas County Clerks. She also has served on the First District Legislation committee and chaired the nominating committee for the County Clerks Association.

She is an active member of the First General Baptist Church in Piggott, where she serves on the Special Days and Events Committees.

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  • I am a life long Democrat and my family has lived outside Piggott for over ten years now. I've followed politics all my life. My parents taught me at a young age to follow current events and the parties as we would discuss topics around the dining table. My Great-Grandfather was a two-term Democrat House Representative for Missouri's Ripley county. And it's was instilled into my brain to never take my right to vote for granted because if we forsake this civil duty and not remain educated on issues that our ignorance could lead the country into despair. I remember the day I asked my Grandmother Marlin at a young age why I was a Democrat

    -- Posted by emmatinkmaggie on Mon, Feb 6, 2012, at 12:56 PM
  • Why didn't you post my entire story?

    Anyways, making a story short of it. Someone racist and disgusting entered my own property and vandalized my own hard earned money that purchased our Obama-Biden campaign sign. My husband is a Vietnam veteran, we pay our taxes and are law abiding citizens

    I find it shameful that so many in this State give it's good name a bad mark by such sad lack of tolerance and show of unpatriotism. Someone owes my husband an Obama-Biden sign.

    -- Posted by emmatinkmaggie on Wed, Feb 8, 2012, at 7:46 AM
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