Former PB mayor to run for county judge

Former Pine Bluff mayor Dutch King has announced he will be a candidate for Jefferson County judge in the May 22 Democratic primary.

King was formerly a member of the Pine Bluff City Council for six years, and served as mayor for four years.

“I believe in the spirit of Jefferson County and in the people who call this home,” King said in a news release. “As county judge, I will work with our business and education leaders to bring prosperity and opportunity back to our community.”

King said as county judge, he will focus on “cleaning up Jefferson County,” and plans to introduce new initiatives to promote more efficiency in local government. Specifically, King said he would work to improve county services, infrastructure, and waste management systems among other things.

According to the news release, King “helped to bring a new Wal Mart Supercenter to Pine Bluff and was instrumental in developing the surrounding area and creating new jobs. He worked to install the amphitheater at Regional Park and was an original member of the committee to start Saracen Landing at Regional Park.”

King is a member of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce, a past elder and deacon at First Presbyterian Church, coached Babe Ruth Baseball for 30 years, and served on the National Little League Board of Directors, Seabrook Board of Directors, and chairman of the King Cotton Basketball Classic.

He said if elected, he would work to strengthen the alliance between the county and city governments “to create a brighter future for all of us.”

King owns Arkansas Marketers Inc., which he has operated since 1981, and has owned Applied Energy since 1985.

He is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School and of the University of Arkansas at Monticello with a degree in business education and a minor in social studies.

King has been married to Helen O’Keefe King for 34 years, and they have three children.

The only other announced candidate for Jefferson County judge is Pine Bluff Assistant Chief of Police Ivan Whitfield.