Sebastian County voters re-upped their county treasurer’s two-year term and voted in a new county assessor and coroner.
Judith Miller, 66, of Greenwood held onto her office as county treasurer/collector against opponent Steve Hotz, 60. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Miller had 59 percent of the vote, 10,780 votes to Hotz’ 7,556 votes.
"I thank the citizens of Sebastian County for trusting me to continue my job, and my wonderful staff for getting the work done," Miller said by phone during a watch party at her home near the end of the polling.
Miller said she would continue serve the citizens of Sebastian County and see technical upgrades administered in the treasurer’s office to make the office more efficient.
The treasurer/collector serves two-year terms and has a yearly salary of $85,752 or more, depending on experience. Miller’s salary was $88,326, according to the Sebastian County Judge’s Office. No Democrats or independent candidates filed for the position.
Miller said Hotz’ accusation she used a county vehicle for on campaign business was unfounded. Hotz is the Sebastian County human resources director.
In her run up to the election, Miller touted her introduction of innovations to help make the Treasurer/Collector’s office more efficient and convenient. This included assigning a deputy to assist all military veterans to help them receive their benefits.
A military veteran who ran for the Sebastian County Assessor position won the race with 60 percent of the vote.
Zach Johnson, 39, a Republican from Fort Smith, had 10,696 votes compared to his opponent Susan Clem’s 7,078. Incumbent Becky Yandell, who has served in the position since 2005, is not seeking re-election. The winner of the primary faces no challenger in the general election and will take office. Democrat Rhonda Hamm withdrew from the race in December.
Johnson has been an employee of the Sebastian County Assessor’s Office for 15 years and has worked the previous three years for the Crawford County Assessor’s office.
Johnson lists his goals as continued focus on the fair and equitable treatment of all property located in the county
The assessor earns $82,668 annually, according to the Sebastian County Human Resources Department.
Kenny Hobbs, deputy coroner since 2012, was headed to a runoff with 46 percent of the vote. The EMT and first responder for the Sebastian County Deputy Coroner’s office had received 8,0465 votes. His opponents Cindy Ducker and George E. Barham had received 5,063 votes and 4,300 votes respectively. Hobbs will face Ducker in a March 22 faceoff.
Hobbs completed his certification to be an EMT in 1996, advanced EMT in 1997, an became a certified Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigator in 2013. Since 1977, Hobbs has worked as vice president at Hobbs Ornamental Iron and Steel Corporation in Lavaca.
In Sebastian County, the average salary of the coroner is about $37,000, depending on experience.
The winning candidate will succeed Sebastian County Coroner Terry Campbell who is not running for re-election.