Marvin Day opts out of Jonesboro mayoral race

Judge Marvin Day drops out of mayor's race

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Craighead County Judge Marvin Day announced Monday he will not run for Jonesboro mayor.

In a news release, Day stated:

“After consulting with my family and friends, I have decided that I will not be able to run for the office of Jonesboro mayor. I am making the announcement today to allow time for other citizens who may have an interest in this position to gather the necessary signatures and file by the deadline on Wednesday.

“Over the last two weeks, since Mayor Perrin told me that he would not be running for re-election and asking me to consider replacing him, I have visited with many friends and supporters who encouraged me to run. During this time, I have also met with legal counsel who have researched and discussed the apparent obstacles to running found in Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 95 which was passed in 2016.

“Their research has indicated that while there are serious flaws in the language of Amendment 95, that if challenged, would most likely be overturned, the out-of-pocket cost to challenge the state court system could be as high as $75,000.00. The real issue for me was that that it is very likely that this would not be resolved before election day. In good conscious, I could not ask the people of Jonesboro to vote for me without the certainty that I would be on the ballot come election day.

“I truly love being Craighead County Judge. I would not have considered running for mayor had not the circumstances as they were with Mayor Perrin’s health and his request asking me to fill his position in such a short amount of time before the filing period, occurred.

“I look forward to working with the future mayor of Jonesboro, as I have worked with Mayor Perrin and the other Craighead County mayors over the last 18 months, to make Craighead County and its cities a better, safer and more prosperous place to live.

“Again, I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments and calls that I have received over the last two weeks and look forward to focusing on my duties as Craighead County Judge.”

Region 8 News met with Day after he released this statement. He said the support was very humbling.

“Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of calls and messages,” he said. “People have been sending me support for my campaign and that’s very humbling and very appreciative that people see what we’re doing and that we’re trying to do things the right way.”

He said he will not be the person to test Amendment 95, but hopes the public realizes its content.

“The big premise that people that the people don’t get to decide who they want, there’s still a real question, there’s still a real problem in the language of Amendment 95 that’ll need to be dealt with,” he said.

"I just can't afford to fight that fight and really, it's not my fight to fight," Day added.

“What I mean by not affording it, you know, it’s going to cost a lot of money to take something to the Supreme Court, but also my character. I can’t afford to do that, to ask people to vote for me when I don’t know if I’m going to be on the ballot in November or not. That’s just not fair. That’s when God really put it on me to say, this is not the plan.”

While he still serves the remainder of his term as Craighead County Judge, he’s unsure if he will pursue the mayor position again.

“I don’t have any plans but I’m not going to say yes or no either way,” he said.

That announcement was met with multiple questions about the legality of his venture, with Day simply saying, “Let the people decide who they want to lead them,” Day told Region 8 News.

On July 28, Senator John Cooper told Region 8 News that he has requested the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on the matter.

The AG’s office told Region 8 News they’ve received Senator Cooper’s request, and are looking into the matter. No timeline was given as to when the AG would weigh-in.

In a one-on-one conversation with Region 8 News, Day said he had spoken to several attorneys about Amendment 95 prior to announcing his candidacy.

“They believe it won’t hold up in court,” Day said.

Currently, Andy Shatley, Amanda Dunavant, and Thomas Elwood have filed to run for Jonesboro mayor.

Jonesboro will elect a new mayor in 2020 after current mayor Harold Perrin announced in late July that he would not seek reelection. Perrin has been mayor since Jan. 2009.

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