Opposing candidates bring civility to race

Greene County candidates
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Two Region 8 candidates say you don't have to play "dirty politics" when running for office.

Sherma Clark Dicus of Paragould is running for Justice of the Peace of District One in Greene County. Her opponent is Dustin Rumsey, the incumbent.

Dicus said she discovered something disturbing when driving down the road.

"I woke up and got out to take my mother home," Dicus said. "I started down Rector Road and you know how you just kind of look automatically for your signs and I couldn't see signs up except for Trump. Someone had pulled numerous signs all the way down and I knew which neighbors had what signs up. Then I decided instead of turning to go straight on to another road and they were gone from there too. And it wasn't just my signs. It was everybody, but Trump signs."

After Dicus notified the authorities of the vandalism, she decided to make another phone call.

"I decided I ought to call Dustin," Dicus said. "For one, I didn't want him to think I was involved and I had taken his up because they were missing too.  I called him and told him what all I had been doing and that's when Dustin said I've been putting yours up too. I said thank you and I want permission to put yours back up."

Rumsey said he was proud to see his opponent reacted in the same manner as himself.

"I think we're both people of integrity and it shows by what she did," Rumsey said. "Like I said on Facebook, she could have easily not told me about it and could have kept my signs in the ditch and could have done whatever she wanted. But she did the honorable thing, like I would have done for her as well."

Dicus and Rumsey said they have both put money into their campaigns and the vandalism needs to end.

"Those signs are expensive," Dicus said. "I know I have a four-dollar-sign and mine are half the size of his so I can only guess how much those were. So, I thought it's in my district as well as his and if we get that kind of stuff started now we're going to have more problems happen. Because we've had graffiti painted on buildings in that district and it needs to be stopped."

Rumsey said he could tell voters are tired of the negativity.

"That was the right thing to do," Rumsey said. "I've knocked on a whole lot of doors in district one and people are sick and tired of politics and personal destruction. They want to know what you're going to do, what you're going to do for them and how you're going to help the district. They're sick of people running other people down."

Both Rumsey and Dicus said they want this to be a fair campaign without the negativity.

"It's good to see that in politics," Rumsey said. "It's so easy to run somebody down and say something bad about them. It's a lot harder just to be civil. You don't see that a lot in politics anymore, civility."

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