POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - Randolph County Road Foreman Ronald Barnett was sworn in as the new County Judge Friday.
Previous Judge David Jansen announced his retirement back in March after 16 years in office, due to cancer. Jansen passed the gavel off to Barnett with many in attendance surprising Jansen as he prepares for retirement.
“It was heartwarming,” Jansen said. “I didn’t even want to try to do a speech it was just overwhelming to me.”
Jansen’s term runs until December 2022, a term Barnett will fill. He said filling the rest of Jansen’s term is his main focus.
“It’s a great honor to be able to finish out David Jansen’s term,” Barnett said. “We’re going to go on and carry on just like we did this year. Nothing’s going to change.”
Barnett was selected out of four candidates by the Quorum Court in early April in a 5-4 vote. Jansen believes the quorum court made the right decision.
“All the quorum court really needed to worry about was [getting] the county through a year and a half,” Jansen said. “Ronald will do a good job, I don’t think there will be any disappointment by the public for Ronald being here.”
When asked about the tight vote, Barnett says he has no hard feelings against those who voted against him, adding he’s excited to work with the quorum court and he’s excited to go to work as the new County Judge.