Circuit Judge Battle Heating Up

May 19, 2006--Posted at 6:21 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--The race for circuit court judge for the 2nd Judicial District is heating up. Alan Seagrave, Barbara Halsey, and Ray Spruell are all Arkansas natives with years of experience, but what do they feel sets them apart?

"Specifically what I bring to the bench is that life long commitment to service and I would like that opportunity, that commitment to service to the citizens of Northeast Arkansas to improve our court system," said Seagrave.

Seagrave, a Navy veteran and ASU graduate, wants to bring family values to the bench. Something he believes would improve the quality of life for families in the area. Barbara Halsey, a former teacher, whose focus is in family law, agrees.

"This particular position, that has been vacated, is more than 60 percent of cases involving families and children. That is my expertise and that makes me the best person for the job," said Halsey.

Ray Spruell feels the position is more about criminals and juvenile delinquents and less about families.

"Some people have promoted this as a family court. First off there is no such thing in Arkansas. Less than 3 percent of this job is domestic relations court," said Spruell.

Spruell believes his experience as a former judge is what makes him better qualified for the position. All three candidates have ideas they hope to address if elected.

"The primary concern of the voters is the drug problem here in Northeast Arkansas, so one of my top priorities is addressing that," said Seagrave.

Spruell agrees drugs are a major problem in this area and likes the idea of a drug court.

"If you are opposed to drug court or think it is being easy, give it a chance. We have to try new things because what we have been doing has not been working that well," said Spruell.

If elected, Barbara Halsey feels she would bring an objective view into each case brought before her.

"I will treat people the way that I have wanted, and that I have been treated. I will treat people fairly," said Halsey.

All 3 candidates have spent long hours over the last couple months campaigning to put themselves in the position to win the seat, however their futures are now in the hands of the voters.