ROGERS -- Former Benton County Circuit Judge Jon Comstock of Rogers, 67, will run as a Democrat for the District 3 seat in the state Senate.
Comstock is running to maintain and enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas, he said. His time as an appointed judge demonstrated to him a number of issues that will erode that quality soon unless they are tackled more effectively, he said. Those issues include overcrowded prisons and jails and a lack of adequate mental health care. The state's foster care system also needs serious reform also, he said.
"I am not seeing the leadership and aggressiveness on these issues that we need," Comstock said. "I definitely would be a change agent."
Rogers is one of the safest Republican regions in the state. Incumbent Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers, hasn't had a Democratic general election opponent in a legislative career that began with her first race for the state House in 1998. Bledsoe seeks re-election, she announced earlier this year. She's chairman of the Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, and a member of the Joint Budget Committee. As of yet, neither Bledsoe nor Comstock have any announced opposition in their party primaries.
Candidate filing for state offices begins Feb. 22 and ends March 1. The general election is Nov. 6. Members of the House serve two-year terms.
Comstock was a general practice attorney in Oklahoma from 1976 to 1994, when he was hired by Walmart and moved to Northwest Arkansas. He was an in-house attorney for that business until appointed by then-Gov. Mike Beebe to fill a vacancy to the court bench in Benton County. He served as circuit judge there from June 2011 to December 2012.
After leaving the judgeship, Comstock gained certification by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission to provide mediation services as an alternative to litigation. He said his experience as a mediator should prove valuable in arriving at workable political solutions in the Legislature. His is owner of Comstock Conflict Resolution Services in Rogers. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas' School of Law and at the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Comstock will house a campaign kick-off in downtown Rogers' Frisco Park at 10 a.m. Saturday at the corner of First and Poplar streets.
NW News on 11/16/2017
Print Headline: Comstock runs for Senate