Circuit Judge Bill Benton has announced that he will be a candidate for re-election in the May 2014 non-partisan judicial general election.
Benton currently is the Third Division Circuit Judge in the 11th Judicial District-West, which includes Jefferson and Lincoln Counties.
He was first elected to the bench in November 2002 and was re-elected for a second term in May 2008.
According to a press release, in almost 11 years on the bench, Benton has made decisions in more than 16,000 cases with many of those being trials and hearings.
He is currently assigned to hear domestic relations and probate cases, which include custody, visitation, support, domestic violence, guardianships, adoptions, mental and drug and alcohol commitments, adult endangerment, paternity, divorce and estates. During his first term, he also handled a portion of the civil cases. In addition, he has on occasion presided over juvenile and criminal proceedings.
A 1995 graduate of Pine Bluff High School, Benton received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and obtained his juris doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Benton has practiced law in Pine Bluff for 29 years. In addition to his law practive, Benton served 20 years as a deputy prosecutor for Jefferson County and as City Court judge for White Hall for seven years. During this time, Benton was licensed to practice law in all Arkansas state and local courts, U.S. District Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is a member of the Arkansas Judicial Council, has served as a past president of the Jefferson County Bar Association, and is co-chairman of the Jefferson and Lincoln County Court Security Committee.
Benton served in the Arkansas Army National Guard, 39th Support Battalion, and received an honorable discharge.
In the past, he has been involved in a number of community activities, including a member of the Salvation Army advisory board, White Hall Chamber of Commerce board of directors, White Hall Junior Babe Ruth board, sponsor and coach in the White Hall Elementary Basketball League and the Star City Chamber of Commerce.
Benton has been married to Kathy McCoskey Benton for 36 years and they have two adult children, Brian and Kyle, and one grandson. They are active members of Central Baptist Church.
Pine Bluff attorney Mac Norton has announced that he will challenge Benton in the May non-partisan judicial general election.