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Three-person race will determine District 4 seat on Benton County Quorum Court

by Mike Jones | October 8, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Republican Chris Latimer (from left), Democrat Amy Warren and Libertarian Bobby Wilson are running for the District 4 seat on the Benton County Quorum Court.

BENTONVILLE -- Three candidates will face off to see which will represent District 4 on the Benton County Quorum Court.

Republican Chris Latimer, Democrat Amy Warren and Libertarian Bobby Wilson are running to replace Republican Tom Allen, who opted not to run for reelection.

District 4 covers part of the Arkansas 112 corridor and consists of southern Bentonville, Cave Springs and southwestern Rogers. Its far eastern border is U.S. 71B.

Early voting starts Oct. 24. Election Day is Nov. 8.

The Quorum Court is the legislative body of county government and is composed of 15 members called justices of the peace who are elected to two-year terms. All 15 members of the Benton County Quorum Court are Republicans.

The biggest issue the county will face in the next five years is growth, Latimer and Warren said.

Latimer said there will be many ways to address growth, such as allocating funding now for future critical services, like the Sheriff's Office and roads for the growing population in rural areas.

With growth, there will need to be improved infrastructure and public transportation, affordable housing and more equitable access to educational and health care resources, Warren said.

"As our community grows and diversifies, our Quorum Court should also be setting the tone and making decisions that show that Benton County is a place where all are truly welcome," Warren said.

Wilson said the biggest problem facing the county in the coming years is financial: "We are running out of money because we are spending and doing too much. This is hampering the county's ability to fulfill its duties."

Wilson would look to eliminate unnecessary departments and avoid accepting federal money.

An issue the county faces is jail expansion, which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Latimer said based on the information at hand, he would favor expansion, but the county should consider all options that would lessen the burden on taxpayers.

Warren does not favor jail expansion. She said crime rates in the region have been relatively flat the last five years and crimes against people are down significantly. The county should invest in developing data-backed strategies to reduce criminal behavior, she said.

Wilson said he is not against a jail expansion in principle, but he opposes the measure on the ballot. The court should have done a smaller, more immediate expansion that wouldn't have required a tax increase, he said.

Latimer said he is the best person for the job. Two years ago he ran for state representative because he wanted to ensure conservative values and ideas were represented at the local level.

"Since then, I am still dedicated to a pro-life agenda, supporting and prioritizing our local law enforcement and protecting our personal freedoms," he said. "I have been actively involved in advocating for these conservative values with the Republican Party of Benton County and am currently on their executive board. This commitment and dedication to my local community and being an active part of protecting these values, even after my previous campaign, proves that I will continue to fight for the values that I believe in."

Warren said she had not considered running for office until after she became active in supporting campaigns of other women running for office in Arkansas. There is a need for better representation in every elected office in Northwest Arkansas, she said.

She said she has spent the last 10 years -- first as a STEM education and outreach director and now as a grant manager for a nonprofit global health organization -- managing hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and donations, ensuring spending decisions maximized the funding available to best serve the public.

"I believe these skills will translate well to being an excellent steward of Benton County funds," she said.

Wilson said he is running because he cares about the area he lives in and thinks the county consistently makes bad decisions.

"I am the best person for the job because the county JPs aren't really a deliberative body. Almost all of the votes that take place are unanimous. With me there, there would be a consistent counter voice in the room," he said.

Benton County justices of the peace are paid $267 for each meeting of the Quorum Court, Committee of the Whole and Finance Committee.

  photo  Chris Latimer
  photo  Bobby Wilson
  photo  Amy Warren

Benton County

Justice of the Peace

District 4

Chris Latimer (R)

Age: 41

Residency: Rogers for 13 years

Occupation: Real estate agent at Gibson Real Estate

Education: Attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; real estate licensure from Academy of Real Estate

Political Experience: Unsuccessful candidate for state representative of District 90 in 2020

Amy Warren (D)

Age: 42

Residency: Rogers for five years

Occupation: Grant manager, Global Health

Education: Doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.; master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biological anthropology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Political Experience: None

Bobby Wilson (L)

Age: 42

Residency: Bentonville for six years

Occupation: Business analyst at Integrity Distributors in Springdale

Education: Attended Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo.

Political Experience: Unsuccessful candidate for Bentonville City Council in 2020


Print Headline: 3 people seek Benton County Quorum Court seat


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