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Crossett City Attorney James A. Hamilton Seeks Election As Circuit Judge On March 3, 2020

May 7th, 2019 by

HamiltonCrossett City Attorney James A. Hamilton has announced that he will seek election as Circuit Judge for the Tenth Judicial District, Division 1, Sub-district No. 10.2, in the upcoming election, on March 3, 2020.  The Tenth Judicial District covers Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew Counties in Southeast Arkansas.

James is married to Rose Hamilton, and they have three daughters, Callie Esther, Jami-Lynn and Sherri.  He is Managing Member of the law firm of Hamilton & Hamilton, PLLC, in Hamburg, and has lived in Ashley County since 1963. He is an Eagle Scout. He attended the Arkansas Boys’ State in 1980, and was also in the original Arkansas Governor’s School Class of 1980. He graduated from Hamburg High School in 1981 with high honors. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with an Industrial Engineering degree in 1985, and a Juris Doctor degree with honors in 1989. He is a member of the Arkansas Law Review. James served the Arkansas Bar Association as a member of the House of Delegates from 2001-2007, and he is a Tenured Delegate. He also served as a director for the Center For Arkansas Legal Services from 1997 until 2007.

James served as Ashley County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from 1991 to 1997, and Deputy City Attorney for Crossett from June 16, 1993, until December 31, 1998, and is currently serving in his sixth term, as Crossett City Attorney.

Regarding his candidacy, Hamilton said:  “I am very excited to have the opportunity to seek the office of Circuit Judge. My late father, Judge Herman L. Hamilton, Jr., served as Hamburg Municipal Judge from 1962 to 1982, and it is an honor to follow in his footsteps. Since 1993, I have had the pleasure of working with three mayors, fourteen different city councils, and many City boards and commissions.  I have learned a great deal from all of them.

As Crossett’s City Attorney, I have successfully worked on many different issues for Crossett, including:

*         Street resurfacing for all of Crossett in 1990 and 2000;

*         Construction of our new library in 2001;

*         Construction of our new sports complex;

*         Creation and extensions of the one-half cent general sales tax in 1998, 2002, 2010, and 2017;

*         Ongoing renovations to the City’s water and sewer system;

*         Construction of our two new fire sub-stations in 2014; and

*         Construction of our Senior Citizen Center in 1994.

I have also worked on many other issues for other entities, including:

*         Construction of Ashley County Medical Center in 1994;

*         Construction of our new detention center in 2005;

*         Construction of Montrose’s water improvements in 2016;

*         General sales taxes in Wilmot and Portland; and

*         Construction of Portland’s water improvements in 2019.

I have successfully defended ALL litigation brought against the City of Crossett, including obtaining a complete dismissal of a class-action lawsuit brought against the City, involving our wastewater discharge processes.

In my thirty years of private law practice, I have handled many different types of major litigation, from criminal defense to personal injury, in both state and federal courts. In June of 2016, I successfully argued an appeal before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in St. Louis, Missouri, on behalf of the Hamburg School District. I have been privileged to represent a variety of clients, such as the Hamburg School District, U. S. Dunnage, LLC, the City of Crossett, the City of Portland, and the City of Montrose. I represented children in dependency-neglect cases, from 1999 until 2007, throughout our district.

I have worked hand in hand with law enforcement, within our district, for over a quarter of a century, and I believe in the work that they do. We have some of the best, most dedicated, law enforcement officers in our district, bar none.

As a lifelong resident of Ashley County, it is incredible to me that there has only been one Circuit Judge from Ashley County, and that there has never been a circuit judge from Crossett. We need to change that.

I have had the privilege of serving many times as Special Circuit Judge in Ashley, Desha and Chicot County Circuit Court.

I have also had the privilege of serving as the President of the Arkansas City Attorneys’ Association from 2004-2005.

As Circuit Judge, I will continue to be honest, fair and impartial. As this judicial position may involve handling quite a lot of criminal trials, your Circuit Judge should apply the law equally to all who appear before the Court.  I pledge to do just that.  Since 1989, I have demonstrated to you that I have the ability, as well as the proven experience, to properly deal with the challenges and responsibilities of this office. I pledge to the citizens of the Tenth Judicial District my best efforts as Circuit Judge. I ask for and will appreciate your votes and support to elect me to this office, on March 3, 2020.”

James is an active member of Level Ground Fellowship in North Crossett, which he helped to build in 2016. He is a member, former director and past president of Crossett Kiwanis Club, and is a member and Past Master of Crossett Masonic Lodge No. 576. He is also a member of Prairie Lodge No. 465, where his father, Herman L. Hamilton, Jr. served as Master in 1967-1968. His grandfather, Herman L. Hamilton, served as Master of Texarkana Lodge No. 341 in 1946-1947.

Ashley County Judge Jim Hudson said: “I would like to whole-heartedly endorse and authorize the candidacy of James A. Hamilton, a lawyer here in Ashley County with 30 years of experience, for the position of Circuit Judge. With the leadership James has demonstrated here in Ashley County, I know that James will do an excellent job as Circuit Judge, or any other office he seeks.”

Max N. Dyson, former Superintendent of the Hamburg School District, said: “I am honored to list a few reasons why I believe James Hamilton will be a great Circuit Judge. As the former Superintendent of the Hamburg School District, I worked very closely with Mr. Hamilton on several occasions. During each case, I found him to be a great listener, and a superior research lawyer. Mr. Hamilton has, in my opinion, been a person who followed “The Rule of Law” and always focused on the facts. He has always been loyal to Southeast Arkansas, and I believe, as Circuit Judge, he will continue his loyalty, while being fair, honest, and just.”

Kristi Huitt Clanton, of Hermitage, said: “It is a pleasure to give my full support to my friend, James Hamilton, as he seeks the office of Circuit Judge. I hope that the voters in Bradley County, and elsewhere, will follow my lead in supporting him in his bid to be our next Circuit Judge.”

JoAnn Smith said: “I served as Trial Court Assistant for Circuit Judge Robert Vittitow and Circuit Judge Kenneth Johnson from 1996 to 2014. Prior to 1996, I worked in various legal offices in the Tenth District, including a private law firm, prosecutor’s office, and Legal Services of Arkansas. During those years, it was my pleasure to know many attorneys practicing in our District! James A. Hamilton, candidate for Circuit Judge in the 10thDistrict, stood out as a very knowledgeable and professional attorney, with years of experience in various types of litigation. I not only count him as a good friend, but know him as a very honorable family man, who is active with his children and in his community! James is well qualified to sit as a Circuit Judge in our District, and I believe he will consider any rulings in a fair manner, according to the laws of Arkansas. Please vote for James A. Hamilton, Circuit Judge, Tenth Judicial District.”

Gary Morgan said: “To my fellow citizens of the 10th District. My name is Gary Morgan, and I live in Portland in Ashley County, Arkansas. It is my wish to inform all voters in and of the 5 counties that supporting James Hamilton for Circuit Judge is a very responsible decision. James has proven himself capable and trustworthy of the position. He is grounded with his beliefs of Christianity. He is polite and courteous to all who come into contact with him. James Hamilton is a listener, your problems and concerns can be shared to a sympathetic ear for advice and counsel. Being an elected official is a demanding, and mostly thankless, job. Being elected to judge people for their actions and to make decisions that can affect lives is more than anyone should ever be asked to do. However, our Great Nation is supported by people that give of themselves to serve everyone, all races, all creeds, all colors. I feel James Hamilton is ready to be elected for service to the people, and I feel he will not disappoint those of us who truly wish Southeast Arkansas to prosper.”

Cary Carter of Crossett, said: “I am honored to endorse Mr. James Hamilton for Circuit Judge. Mr. Hamilton has served the citizens, not only in Ashley County, but Southeast Arkansas as a whole. I am certain of his passion and capability to serve as Circuit Judge.”

Glen Hodge, owner of U.S. Dunnage, LLC in North Crossett, added: “James has represented our company extremely well since 2002, and is an asset to our community. I wholeheartedly support his bid for election as Circuit Judge.”

Pastor John C. Martin, of Level Ground Fellowship in North Crossett, added: “Oh, my friends! What joy it is to put our confidence and trust in such a great example of what a public servant should be!!!  It has been my privilege to call myself James A. Hamilton’s pastor, but it has been my honor to call him my friend.  He has proven honesty, integrity and character, and will be a phenomenal circuit judge.”

Hamilton added, “The theme for my campaign is ‘Proven Experience, Integrity and Justice with Compassion.’ The Tenth Judicial District needs a Circuit Judge with seasoned experience. I have that seasoned experience. I ask for the privilege to continue to use my proven experience as your next Circuit Judge.”

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