While Democrats and Republicans are in the midst of primary season, independent candidates, like myself, are busy knocking on doors and collecting signatures to get placed on the general election ballot in November. I spoke with dozens of people about my campaign and collected a total of twenty signatures — five more than I actually needed.
I was originally going to turn them in last Friday, but something came up and I wasn’t able to get around before the courthouse closed. That meant I had to get to Arkadelphia Monday morning, before noon, so I set my alarm to 7:00 AM… but it never went off and I woke up over three hours later — with only a couple left. I got there around 11:40 AM, just in time.
Five of those signatures were invalid, because their owners weren’t registered to vote. I asked if they were, and the petition itself says they have to be registered, but I assume a lot of folks either didn’t understand or were removed from the voter rolls (either due to a felony conviction or routine purges) without knowing.
That put me at fifteen — the exact number I needed. There was some confusion about whether I needed fifteen or seventeen, but I made sure to keep up with the note I was given of the original number, even though it seemed fairly unimportant at the time. This is why I keep up with everything (I even still have a receipt from Dollar General for a twelve-pack of Dr. Pepper); I’m sure the County Clerk had a copy filed away somewhere, but it sped up the process and added an extra layer of security, just in case she didn’t.
Then things turned for the worse: one more was rejected, because the signature (which happened to be my mother’s) didn’t look similar enough to the one on her voter registration. That put me down to fourteen — just one below what I needed — and although the County Clerk took the issue to the state Election Commission, I was sure my campaign was over.
I prayed about it intensely — as I did before the campaign even began — asking God to help them make the right decision, so I could continue the good fight to make this county great, to ensure the People’s voice is heard, to represent the silent majority of voters in Clark County who didn’t register with a political party — a whopping 92%. At 4:23 PM, as I was contemplating a second attempt in 2024, I received a call. I answered to learn that the Election Commission had decided the signature was legitimate and I was officially a candidate for Justice of the Peace!
I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions today, from anxiety, to disappointment, to joy, but although I didn’t know it at the time, this was all a test of faith. God was testing me and I passed. I didn’t place myself on the ballot, the People placed me on the ballot; the Lord placed me on the ballot — and for that, I’m grateful. Thank the People and thank God! I’ll never forget who got me here, and if elected JP: I’ll never forget who put me in office.
If you want to help make Clark County great again, all I ask is that you share my campaign with family and friends! Get the word out, let everyone know there’s a choice this November: politics as usual or a populist outsider willing to upset the establishment and make sure the People’s voice is heard up in Arkadelphia. Let’s do this!