Nearly all of Jefferson County’s elected officials have announced they will be candidates for re-elecion in the May 2014 Democratic Party primary.
County Assessor Yvonne Hawkins Humphrey, Coroner Chad Kelley, Circuit Clerk Lafayette Woods Sr., County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson, Tax Collector Stephanie Glover Stanton and Treasurer Elizabeth Rinchuso made the joint announcement Friday.
Current Sheriff Gerald Robinson previously announced he would seek another term. County Judge Dutch King has not announced his plans as yet.
Humphrey, a native of Pine Bluff, will be seeking her third term in office and said she is “dedicated to providing Jefferson County with the highest quality of service they deserve.
“During my first and second terms in office, I have added online assessing for personal property and completed a county-wide reappraisal,” she said. “Beginning January, 2014, we will be providing the ability for most businesses to assess their personal property on line.”
A graduate of Townsend Park High School, Humphrey graduated from Arkansas A M & N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She has received training from the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Department and the International Association of Assessing Officers.
Humphrey is the assistant treasurer for the NAACP, vice-president of the Democratic Women, is District Four Representative Elect for the Arkansas Assessor Association and a member of the Arkansas Chapter of IAAO, the International Association of Assessing Officers State and International.
She is a member of New Town Missionary Baptist Church.
Kelley, a native of Pine Bluff, will be seeking his fourth term as Coroner and said he feels he is “the most qualified person to be Jefferson County coroner because of the extensive training and the hundreds of deaths that I have worked. I feel I was meant to take care of the people of Jefferson County this way.
“Over the past 13 years, I have received extensive training in death investigation and I feel this is something I have excelled in,” Kelley said. “Giving the deceased the utmost dignity and respect they deserve, assisting their families in a time of tragedy, and helping them cope with the death of a loved one is an extremely important job.”
A graduate of Watson Chapel High School, Kelley graduated with honors from Southeast Arkansas College and has received training from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
He is a member of the Arkansas Coroners Association, the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee, the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners, and the Society of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
Woods will be seeking his fourth term in office and said he wants to continue to implement ideas and programs that will enhance the work of the office.
“Under my continued leadership, the Circuit Clerk’s Office shall continue to stay on the cutting edge of technological advancements and with the help of the 15 employees in the Clerk’s Office, the Circuit Clerk’s Office shall continue to strive for excellence in public service to the citizens of Jefferson County,” Woods said.
In 2009, Woods implemented the Arkansas Juror Software System for the courts and he said that as additional funds become available, he will implement the scanning/imaging system to include all other documents.
A graduate of Dollarway High School, Woods received a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Baptist College and a master of science degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Woods retired after 22 years in the military, and is a member of the Disable Veterans of America, the Arkansas Association of Circuit Clerk’s and the American Legion. He also serves on the board of Southeast Arkansas Hospice.
He is a member of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
Johnson will be seeking her fourth term in office and said she “wants to continue providing quality and expedient service to the residents of Jefferson County.
“Formal employee training, direct deposit for Jefferson County employees and operating procedures were implemented,” she said. “Technological advances are continuous. If re-elected, I will continue to add enhancements to the daily operation of the office of Jefferson County Clerk.”
A graduate of Merrill High School, she attended Arkansas AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Johnson is a member of the Arkansas Association of County Clerks, the Democratic Women, NAACP, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, vice-chairman of the Democratic Central Committee and Chamber of Commerce Red Coat President.
She is a member of St. Peter’s Rock Baptist Church.
Stanton is seeking her sixth term in office and has been employed by Jefferson County for 24 years, first in the County Clerk’s Office as a deputy, then was promoted to operations manager.
She began working in the Tax Collector’s Office in 1998 as a deputy collector and was promoted to chief deputy/EDP system manager in 2003 before being elected to the office of tax collector for the first time.
“Since I have taken office we have implemented a website where customers can view their accounts as well as pay their accounts online and are able to take credit cards in the office, have a 24-hour drop box, computerized bookkeeping system and an online database for receipts,” she said .”I am always looking for ways to update our office and stay up with the latest technology. Because of my extensive experience in the Collector’s Office, I feel I am the most qualified for this position.”
A graduate of White Hall High School, Stanton has received additional training from Arkansas Tech University, Southeast Arkansas College and the Arkansas Association of Collectors.
She is a member of the Democratic Central Committee, the Arkansas County Tax Collectors Association, the Association of Arkansas Counties, and is currently serving on the Arkansas Collector’s Continuing Education Committee and Arkansas Collector’s Legislative Committee. She is also a member of the NAACP, the Jefferson County Democratic Women, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Comprehensive Care System and a past committee member for Planning and Evaluation, Personnel and Strategic Planning for Jefferson Comprehensive Care.
Rinchuso will be seeking her sixth term as treasurer and has worked for Jefferson County for more than 20 years, beginning in the Treasurer’s Office as a deputy in 1987, then as chief deputy before being elected to the office for the first time.
“I am proud to call Jefferson County my home and feel that it is our obligation to strive to make it a better place every day,” she said. “I’ve developed the procedures being used in the Treasurer’s Office and can say that since my being in office, we have always received perfect audits from the State of Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit.
“I have extensive knowledge of all aspects of the Treasurer’s Office, from the laws governing finance and investments to preparing revenue estimates and monthly reports for the Quorum Court detailing the financial condition of the county,” Rinchuso said. “I believe that my experience, trustworthiness and the unblemished reputation of the Jefferson County Treasurer’s Office make me the best and most qualified person to be Jefferson County Treasurer.
A graduate of Pine Bluff High School, she attended Jonesboro Business College and received a degree in business accounting. She also completed more than 100 hours of training through the Arkansas County Treasurer’s Association Continuing Education Program administered through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock-Arkansas Public Administration Consortium.
She is a member of the Democratic Central Committee, the Arkansas County Treasurer’s Association, St. Joseph Catholic Church Altar Society, Regent, Vice-Regent, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and Financial Secretary of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. She is also a member of the Finance Committee and former Parish Council Member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.