Former Cleburne County judge, sheriff enters race for House District 41 seat

"I Voted" stickers for early voters Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.

Jerry Holmes of Heber Springs, a former Cleburne County judge and sheriff, announced this week he is running for the Republican nomination for Arkansas House of Representatives District 41 seat next year with incumbent Rep. Josh Miller, R-Heber Springs, not seeking reelection.

House District 41 includes Cleburne County and part of Stone County.

Holmes served as Cleburne County sheriff from 1984-1990 as a Democrat, and then as Cleburne County judge from 2013-2021 as a Republican.

"I am interested in getting back and working with the people in the district," and to be a voice for the people for this district, Holmes said in an interview.

Noting he and his wife have run several businesses, Holmes said "I have good common sense and business sense."

He said the senior citizens centers in the state have lost funding over the years and he wants to try to get more state funding for those centers.

"That's the generation we need to take care of," he said.

Holmes is the second Republican candidate to announce his bid for the House District 41 seat.

Former Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss of Heber Springs has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the District 41 seat next year. In the 2022 Republican primary, Miller beat Moss, 3,551 votes to 3,162 votes, according to the secretary of state's website.

Moss said Thursday night that "yes, I am still in the race.

"I will diligently inform the voters of district 41 over the next 4 months why I am the best candidate," he said in a written statement. "People over politics."

Moss has said he served as Cleburne County's sheriff from 2007-2014 as a Democrat, but he changed parties after he left office in 2015 because the Democratic Party "as I used to know it doesn't exist anymore" and "I just don't align with that."

He also has said he would focus on the future of House District 41 and the state by further advancing fiscal restraint and responsibility, as well as ensuring government transparency and accountability with a common-sense approach.

About three weeks ago, Democrat Tom Nowlin, a U.S. Navy veteran and ordained Baptist minister from Stone County, announced he would run for the House District 41 seat.

Two weeks ago, Miller became the ninth state representative to announce they will not seek re-election next year.

State Reps. Charlene Fite, R-Van Buren; Lanny Fite, R-Benton; Delia Haak, R-Centerton; Mark Berry, R-Ozark; Milton Nicks, D-Marion; Jack Fortner, R-Yellville; Jamie Scott, D-North Little Rock; and Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, have said they will not seek reelection.

In late August, Scott said she would seek election to the Senate seat held by veteran Sen. Linda Chesterfield, D-Little Rock, who said she will not seek reelection next year and will support Scott to be her successor.

Chesterfield is the only senator of the 18 up for election next year who has announced she will not seek re-election. The Arkansas Senate comprises 29 Republicans and six Democrats. The Arkansas House of Representatives is made up of 82 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

The filing period for candidates for federal and state offices in Arkansas will be from noon Nov. 6 through noon Nov. 14.

The primary election will be March 5, 2024, with the runoff election April 2, 2024, and the general election Nov. 5, 2024.