Pine Bluff mayoral candidate Debe Hollingsworth has won the endorsement of the South Central Chapter of the Arkansas Division of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, which is made up of police officers from Pine Bluff.
Chapter President Officer Chris Powell said the group also endorsed Jean Painton for alderman in Ward 1, and Bruce Lockett for alderman in Ward 4.
Powell said the three were the “most police friendly” and “most supportive of the goals we have and would like to see accomplished.”
He said the selection process involved sending a list of questions to each candidate for office, then inviting those candidates to attend an interview two weeks after receiving the questions, which were on issues the police group considered important.
“Following the interviews, each candidate was rated by members of the screening committee, then those ratings were averaged out with the candidate receiving the highest average getting the endorsement,” Powell said.
He said that the group did not endorse a candidate in Pine Bluff Ward 3 because none of the candidates in that race appeared before the screening committee.
“We’ve had a couple of them ask for an endorsement but we can’t do that because they weren’t screened,” Powell said.
Hollingsworth’s opponents are incumbent Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr., Alderman Steven Mays, Alderman Thelma Walker, Peter Daniels Jr., Clarence E. Davis, John James Jr., Kent Broughton and Tim Whisenhunt.
Powell said seven of the nine mayoral candidates were screened by members of the police group.
Painton is running against Lloyd A. Holcomb Jr., Alfred Carroll, Milton H. Jenkins and Melanie D. Perkins, and Lockett is opposed by incumbent George Stepps and Fred Toney.