Kezhaya seeks District 7 seat on Benton County Quorum Court

Posted: March 6, 2018 at 3:45 p.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Matthew Kezhaya will face two opponents in November in the race for the District 7 seat on the Benton County Quorum Court.

Kezhaya filed as a Democratic party candidate for District 7 justice of the peace. Joel Jones, the Republican incumbent, is seeking reelection. Joseph Bollinger filed for the seat as a Libertarian Party candidate.

Kezhaya, 29, a Bentonville resident, has lived in Benton County since 2014 and in District 7 since July 2017. He is an attorney in private practice with the Pinnacle Law Group.

Kezhaya said he was motivated to run for local office by events in national politics.

"I was galvanized by the Trump administration," he said. "People with skills and training should be involved in government and I need to be."

Kezhaya said he considered a race for a state Legislative office, but chose to seek a seat on the Quorum Court instead.

""I was originally interested in state Representative for District 63," he said. "But you have to be fully-devoted to that. I wanted to make a difference somewhere, to contribute in some way to the community around me."

Kezhaya said his legal training will be useful on the Quorum Court, particularly in the discussion of the county's proposed $30 million courts building.

"The new courthouse is one everybody's minds," he said. "It's extremely important to me. As an attorney I spend a lot of time in the courthouse."

Kezhaya also said he sees the growth in Benton County and Northwest Arkansas and wants to be a part of shaping the direction that growth will take.

"This is a growing place and I want to be a part of it," he said. "There's not a lot of coordination between Benton and Washington counties. We are a region now, not five or six cities and two counties. There needs to be more shared services."

Justices of the peace are paid on a per meeting basis -- $230.51 for Quorum Court and Committee of the Whole meetings and $144.08 for other committees they are members of -- and serve two-year terms.

NW News on 03/07/2018