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Gary Rogers of North Little Rock, a former district judge, has announced his intention to seek the Pulaski County circuit judge post being vacated next year by the retiring Richard Moore.

Rogers, 62, is the third lawyer to declare an interest in running for the position in next year's March elections. Moore's seat is one of six coming open in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pulaski and Perry counties, which has 17 judges.

Rogers served for 21 years as a Prairie County district judge in Hazen but now practices family law at the Dover Dixon Horne law firm in Little Rock. He was named Pulaski County's Family Lawyer of the Year by the Best Lawyers legal guide in 2017 and in 2019, and he has served as a special Arkansas Supreme Court justice.

Rogers said that as a district judge, he took a strong stand against domestic violence and drunken driving. As the father of three who is married to a teacher, Rogers said, he will also make school safety a priority, particularly when dealing with gang members and drug dealers.

In his announcement, he also saluted Moore's service as circuit judge.

"Judge Moore is an outstanding judge who is fair to all people, and I thank him for his many years of service," he said in his announcement.

Moore was elected in 2003.

Attorneys Amy Dunn Johnson and Jay Shue have also said they will be vying to replace Moore.

The six judges are leaving due to a state law that strips them of their retirement benefits if they are elected after turning 70.

The other departing judges and the announced candidates for their seats are:

• Wiley Branton, elected 1993; Tjuana Byrd and Suzanne Ritter Lumpkin.

• Mary McGowan, elected 1990; LaTonya Austin and Andy Gill.

• Chris Piazza, elected 1990; Hugh Finkelstein and Scott Richardson.

• Vann Smith, elected 1988; Andrew Ballard, Tom Barron, Shawn Johnson and Jim Wyatt.

• Joyce Warren, elected 1988; Lott Rolfe IV and Jonathan Warren.

Circuit judges earn $168,096 per year and are elected for six-year terms. The filing fee to get on the ballot is $6,528 -- 4% of the position's annual salary -- or candidates can petition to be added by collecting signatures of 3 percent of qualified voters within the circuit or 2,000 voters, whichever is greater.

Filing for the March 3 election begins Sept. 5 -- the first day candidates can start accepting campaign contributions -- six months ahead of the contest. The General Assembly earlier this year moved the race and the traditional May primaries to March in presidential election years.

Metro on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: Lawyer to seek court seat in Pulaski County circuit

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