The former chairman of the Jefferson County Election Commission announced Monday that he will be a candidate for Jefferson County Clerk in the May Democratic primary.
Trey Ashcraft also served as county clerk after he was appointed to replace the late Helen Bradley in 2007. He served until Jan. 1, 2009, when current County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson assumed the office. Johnson has announced her intention to seek re-election.
“My 12 years as chairman of the Jefferson County Election Commission and my time as county clerk have prepared me to again lead this critical part of county government, ” Ashcraft said in a press release. “Just over a year ago I retired from politics when I did not seek a seventh term as chairman of the Democratic Party and Election Commission. In that time while I have built my private business I have realized that if our community is to move forward, grow, and prosper then I owed it to myself and our community to be a part of the solution and not just observe from the sideline. I was born in Pine Bluff and I have made a conscious decision to live and work here. I love our community and serving it.”
In the press release, Ashcraft said while serving as county clerk, “I took the office out into our communities with my County Clerk for a Day program where we set up mobile offices in Altheimer, Redfield, and White Hall.
“Under my leadership, our office was proactive with voter registration as we sought out opportunities to help our citizenry by making the services of our office more accessible,” he said. “As chairman of the Election Commission, I oversaw nearly 100 elections, guided us into a new age of touch screen voting and realigned voting locations to better serve our community.
“As county clerk, I would build on our past successes and work hard to ensure that the office of county clerk is a shining example of everything that is right about government today,” Ashcraft said.
A graduate of Pine Bluff High School, Ashcraft attended Southeast Arkansas College and is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography. He founded Ashven Photography in 2009 and has a studio located at 700 Main Street. He also served as a deputy attorney general under Mark Pryor and worded for the stat again when then-Gov. Mike Huckabee named him to head relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina evacuees being housed in Southeast Arkansas.
“I was appointed by Gov. Bebe to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and to the Delta Leadership Institute through the Delta Regional Authority,” Ashcraft said. “I am am a member of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce where I have served as treasurer of the Leadership Pine Bluff Alumni Board. I am a class of 2000 graduate of Leadership Pine Bluff and a former board member of the Jefferson County Clean and Beautiful Commission. . City of Pine Bluff S.A.F.E. Team, Ducks Unlimited Committee, United Way Allocations Committee, Arkansas County Clerks Association and a lifelong member of First Baptist Church.”