Election Day Preview: Race for Circuit Judge

November 06, 2006 -- Posted at 3:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Raised in Leachville, this former teacher,  businesswoman, and mother of two says life experiences, her 18 years of practicing in the area of family law, and hands-on training qualify her for the circuit judge's seat.

"More than 60 percent of cases that are assigned to this position are cases dealing with children and families.  I think my background experience is just exactly what is needed for this position," said Barbara Halsey.

Ray Spruell says his time spent in the district judge's seat, and experience as a felony prosecutor makes him the person for the job.

He says sharing ideas and teamwork is key.

"I don't want to be doing something so radically different from the other circuit judges that it causes problems, but any ideas I have, I will share with the other judges to implement them. If we can find ways to improve the drug court system, I think it would be a great step in the right direction.  This position oversees drug court in Greene County," said Spruell.

Halsey says working with people, and building relationships with those people is a vital role in the circuit judge's position.

"Even though the judge sits on the bench, the judge must hear from litigants, attorneys, and witnesses.  There has to be that base of dealing with the people.  I think I have that," said Halsey.

Spruell says with his experience and new ideas about drug court, he hopes to have the opportunity to improve an already successful  plan.

"The whole goal is to try and help these individuals and really create a pretty powerful change from probation, or putting people in prison.   We're really working with these people to help improve things," said Spruell.