Jus­tice Of The Peace De­clines Re-Elec­tion Bid

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - NEWS - By Scar­let Sims

FAYETTEVILLE — A Re­pub­li­can jus­tice of the peace doesn’t plan to serve an­other term on the Wash­ing­ton County Quo­rum Court — but his name will re­main on the pri­mary elec­tion bal­lot.

Joel Maxwell, who rep­re­sents west­ern Wash­ing­ton County, said Mon­day he plans not to re­main on the court next year but will serve the re­main­der of his term through Dec. 31.

Maxwell’s name will re­main on the pri­mary bal­lot be­cause the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion al­ready cer­ti­fied it.

Early vot­ing starts May 7. Elec­tion day is May 22.

Maxwell faces Re­pub­li­can can­di­date Wil­lie E. Lem­ing of Lin­coln. No other can­di­date filed for the gen­eral elec­tion.

“Lem­ing would need to win in the pri­mary [elec­tion] in or­der to hold the seat,” said Jennifer Price, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

If vot­ers re-elect Maxwell for dis­trict 13 any­way, then a va­cancy will be de­clared, and no one’s name will ap­pear on the gen­eral elec­tion bal­lot, Price said. No one would be elected Nov. 6, and the gov­er­nor would ap­point a jus­tice of the peace.

Maxwell said he didn’t know Lem­ing and couldn’t en­dorse him.

Lem­ing said he didn’t have a com­ment, other than he’s dis­ap­pointed Maxwell plans to leave the race.

Maxwell said he is grate­ful to vot­ers for elect­ing him in 2014 and again in 2016. He said he en­joys work­ing with other elected of­fi­cials and county staff but com­ing changes to his pro­fes­sional job will limit his time.

Tax­pay­ers de­serve some­one who can ded­i­cate them­selves more fully to re­search, dis­cus­sion with ex­perts and meet­ing con­stituents, Maxwell said.

“I could show up and vote, but I don’t think that’s the right way to do this job,” he said.

Maxwell

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