Candidate news: Balls, Boyle, Leding, Lester, Martin, Zimmerman

Here’s a list of candidates who’ve recently sent us press releases announcing their plans to run for various seats in upcoming elections.

Also see:
» Candidate news: Parks, Snively
» Candidate news: Clark, Storey, Whitaker

Daniel Balls – Quorum Court, District 8

Daniel Balls, 37 of Fayetteville, has announced that he will seek election to Washington County Quorum Court, Justice of the Peace for District 8.

Read: “Daniel Balls announces candidacy for Justice of the Peace”
Daniel Balls announces candidacy for Justice of the Peace

Daniel Balls


(Fayetteville, AR) Daniel Balls, 37 of Fayetteville, has announced that he will seek election to Washington County Quorum Court, Justice of the Peace for District 8. Balls is a longtime resident of midtown Fayetteville. The seat is currently held by Barbara Fitzpatrick who announced her retirement from the court earlier this month. Balls, a Democrat, is seeking election to public office for the first time.

Justice of the Peace District 8 encompasses midtown Fayetteville (include boundaries).

Ball is a 2001 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, with a degree in Political Science. Balls has over 15 years of experience as Business Analyst and has worked for Fortune 500 Company and is currently employed at a Wal-Mart supplier. He married Lauren Marquette two years ago this spring.

“I am eager to listen to the needs of the voters in JP District 8. When I am elected, I will continue the superior constituent services that JP Barbara Fitzpatrick has provided over the years,” Balls said.

A committed community volunteer, Balls has been active in Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, Rebuilding Together NWA and serves on the Community Leadership Council of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA. Balls is an avid outdoorsman, advocate for shelter pets and dedicated Razorback fan.

Daniel Balls campaign can be found on the web at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Kendra Boyle – Quorum Court, District 7

Farmington Prosecuting Attorney, former small business owner and local mother of three Kendra Boyle announced her candidacy for Washington County Quorum Court – District 7.

Read: “Farmington Prosecuting Attorney Kendra Boyle Announces Bid for Washington County Quorum Court – District 7”
Farmington Prosecuting Attorney Kendra Boyle Announces Bid for Washington County Quorum Court – District 7
Mother, Attorney, Former Small Business Owner Seeks to Create Better, Stronger Communities in Washington County


Kendra Boyle


(Farmington, Ark.) – Farmington Prosecuting Attorney, former small business owner and local mother of three Kendra Boyle today announced her candidacy for Washington County Quorum Court – District 7. Boyle, a lifelong resident of Washington County, has served as City Prosecuting Attorney for Farmington since April 2013 and has previously worked in the Washington County Public Defender’s office.

“As a mother of three and as an attorney, I have always fought for a fairer justice system and to make our communities safer,” said Boyle. “While Washington County is already a great place to live and raise a family, I believe we can be better and stronger. I want to use my experience and passion to give our children more opportunities to succeed, to empower families to get ahead, and to make our communities stronger, safer and more vibrant. By working together, I know we can help create a brighter future for every family who calls Washington County home – and I want to help lead that effort.”

Boyle is running to represent the people of Washington County Quorum Court District 7, which includes more than 13,000 residents living in northern Farmington, western Fayetteville, Prairie Grove and Wheeler. Boyle is the only announced Democratic candidate for District 7, currently represented by Justice of the Peace Rick Cochran who recently filed for re-election.

“I am running to represent the people of District 7 on the Quorum Court to bring a commonsense and compassionate approach to local government so that our region can continue its tradition of bipartisanship, fiscal responsibility, family values and beautiful communities,” said Boyle. “As a former small business owner, I know firsthand how important it is to meet a payroll and balance a budget, and, as a mother of three, I know how challenging it can be for a family to make ends meet. I will be a strong voice for families throughout our county on the Quorum Court, working with my colleagues to improve our roads and schools, ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability in government, and do everything we can to make Washington County an even better place to call home.”

Born and raised in Washington County, Boyle is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She now lives with her husband, Bo, in Farmington where they are raising their three children: daughter, Shae, age 8; son, Memphis, age 6; and, daughter Ava, age 1.

For more information about Kendra Boyle and her campaign, visit

Rep. Greg Leding – House of Representatives, District 86

House Minority Leader Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) announced he is running for reelection.

Read: “Leding Running For Reelection in 2014”

Rep. Greg Leding


House Minority Leader Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) is running for reelection.

“We’ve accomplished quite a lot, but we still have work to do,” Leding said. “And we’re going to make sure Arkansas Democrats take back the House in 2014.”

While acknowledging winning back the House will not be easy, Leding is confident Arkansas Democrats can return to the majority. The House is currently split between 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and one member of the Green Party.

Among his accomplishments, Leding cites his first-term work to pass The Jason Flatt Act, a measure to prevent youth suicide in Arkansas. In his second term, Leding passed bipartisan legislation to prevent human trafficking, protect landowners in the Fayetteville Shale, and to protect the Buffalo River. He also helped lead successful bipartisan efforts to expand health care access for nearly a quarter million working Arkansans.

He continues to work to strengthen the House Democratic Caucus.

“The last legislative session was difficult, but we had our successes,” Leding said. “I was able to advance anti-wage theft legislation out of the House in 2013. While we didn’t have time to get it out of the Senate, it marked progress over a similar attempt in 2011.”

Leding points to other successes in 2013, including passage of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Act and the Guaranteed Energy Cost Savings (GECS) Act. “I carried the bills in the House. PACE in particular was a hard-fought victory, but both laws mean good jobs for our state,” Leding said, adding that the GECS Act could save the state money as more state agencies take advantage of the law.

Leding said he continues to work on a number of issues during the interim, including paid family leave, pay equity policies, workplace equality, efforts to streamline the permitting and application processes for small businesses, and student debt relief.

“I’m going to continue working hard to earn the opportunity to keep serving the heart of Fayetteville,” Leding said.

Brian Lester – Circuit Judge, 4th Judicial District, Division 1

Fayetteville attorney Brian R. Lester announced his intent to run for the Circuit Judge Division 1 seat in the 4th Judicial District, encompassing Washington and Madison counties.

Read: “Brian R. Lester Press Release”

Brian Lester


Fayetteville attorney Brian R. Lester announced Friday his intent to run for the Circuit Judge Division 1 seat in the 4th Judicial District, encompassing Washington and Madison counties.

Lester, 33, has practiced law for nearly 7 years at his own practice, Lester Law Firm, PLLC., in Fayetteville. He has served Washington and Madison county clients in a variety of legal proceedings with a primary focus on representing families and juveniles who need a strong voice to stand up for them.

As a judge, Lester will continue to work to protect children and families and uphold Arkansas state laws.

“The people of Washington and Madison counties deserve to have a confident judge who will follow and uphold the law, and who will act with integrity in all cases,” Lester said.

Lester has a rich history of showing compassion towards clients and possesses a raw energy that promises to bring fresh perspective to the courtroom.

“I want people to know that when they come into my courtroom they will be treated with respect and fairness.”

A Texarkana native, Lester earned a bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas before graduating from the UA School of Law in 2006. He is married to Ashley Lester and they have one son.

Lester said he “is looking forward to shaking hands with people of Washington and Madison counties” as he campaigns in early 2014.

Hon. Doug Martin – Circuit Judge, 4th Judicial District, Division 1

Judge Doug Martin announced his candidacy for Circuit Judge Division 1, for Washington and Madison Counties.

Read: “Judge Doug Martin Officially Files Candidacy for Circuit Judge of Washington and Benton Counties”
Judge Doug Martin Officially Files Candidacy for Circuit Judge of Washington and Benton Counties
Renews Commitment to Advocate for Children and Families in Crisis

Hon. Doug Martin


Little Rock — Judge Doug Martin today filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office, officially launching his candidacy for Circuit Judge, First Division, for Washington and Madison Counties. Martin announced his intention to run in July of last year.

Martin is currently serving as Circuit Judge for Washington and Madison Counties.

Judge Martin previously served as Circuit Judge for Washington and Madison Counties in 2009 and 2010 — presiding over more than 2,000 cases, including civil, criminal, family and probate cases. Martin also served on the Arkansas Court of Appeals from 2011 through 2012. While an Appeals Court Judge, Martin authored over 100 published opinions.

“The judges who have presided over this circuit throughout my life have served with honor and distinction. Their understanding of the law and their ability to apply the law fairly and respectfully has served as a guidepost throughout my career as a judge,” Martin said. “The job of circuit job requires thorough application of the law with common sense and thoughtful fairness.”

Throughout his career, Judge Martin has been a passionate advocate for children and families in crisis. He and his wife Amy served as foster parents for numerous children in Washington, Madison and other counties for several years.

Martin has focused his campaign around his lifelong commitment to be a steadfast champion for families in Northwest Arkansas. “Seeing families come before the court that are in absolute crisis is a reminder each day of the direct impact a circuit court has on the litigants and the people of this community,” Martin said.

“Amy and I became foster parents because we could no longer stand on the sidelines and watch as our community’s children’s lives were damaged,” Martin continued. “The experience certainly made me a better person and a better father. I ask for the support of the voters of Washington and Madison Counties to allow me the opportunity to continue to work for the children of our community.”

A Washington County native, Martin is a graduate of Fayetteville High School, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas School of Law. He and Amy are proud parents of three children. Judge Martin is the son of Myrna Martin and the late F.H. Martin, Jr.

Hon. Stacey Zimmerman – Circuit Judge, 4th Judicial District, Division 3

Juvenile Judge Stacey Zimmerman announced her candidacy for re-election as Circuit Judge, Juvenile Division.

Read: “Zimmerman Files For Re-election”
Juvenile Court Judge with Strong Record of Success for
Children and Families Seeking 4th Term

Hon. Stacey Zimmerman


FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (Feb. 25, 2014) –The Honorable Juvenile Judge Stacey Zimmerman on Monday filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State the paperwork required to seek re-election as Circuit Judge, Juvenile Division, for Washington and Madison counties — a post Judge Zimmerman has held for the past 15 years.

First elected to the bench in November 1998, Judge Zimmerman is seeking her fourth term overseeing the juvenile justice system in the state’s 4th Judicial District comprising Washington and Madison counties.

“For the last 23 years, I have been privileged to work with families and children, especially the last 15 years as juvenile judge for Washington and Madison counties,” Judge Zimmerman said. “Helping improve the lives of children is one of the greatest honors I’ve had in life and one I wish to continue. I’m committed to the youth in our community and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”

In her varied roles as juvenile judge, volunteer attorney ad litem for children, family law attorney, and juvenile court prosecutor, she has handled more than 16,000 juvenile cases.

On a day-to-day basis, Judge Zimmerman decides juvenile delinquency cases, cases involving children in foster care, child custody cases, as well as paternity, adoption and Family in Need of Services matters. She averages 120 cases a week, holding court at the Washington County Juvenile Justice Center in Fayetteville and at the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville.

Over the years, Judge Zimmerman has implemented a number of programs to mentor youth, hold them accountable and proactively reach at-risk children and their families.

In 2007, she and her staff teamed up with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to form the Washington County Outdoor Adventure Club where volunteers help children in the juvenile justice system gain confidence and self-esteem through activities such as fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and trail restoration.

The award-winning Aikido Program, started by the Northwest Arkansas Aikido studio and Judge Zimmerman in 2007, utilizes instructors as mentors to the importance of cooperation, courage, self-discipline and inner strength. Likewise, the Summer Youth Academy started by the Springdale Police Department and Judge Zimmerman is a two-week day camp where police officers mentor juveniles.

Judge Zimmerman has expanded a number of other diversion programs, such as Teen Court and the nationally acclaimed Creating Lasting Family Connections. In 1999, she was one of the first judges in the state to open juvenile court to the public. Local fifth and sixth graders regularly visit Judge Zimmerman’s courtroom and watch proceedings. The visits are a powerful diversion program.

“Since 2005, we’ve had an 85 percent decrease in Washington and Madison counties in the number of children who are committed to the Division of Youth Services,” Judge Zimmerman said. “Likewise, the number of children being held at our Juvenile Detention Center has steadily decreased over the last eight years. These numbers show us the prevention and intervention programs we have in place are paying off, and that the juvenile justice system in our community is working.”

When Judge Zimmerman took the bench in 1999, Northwest Arkansas children were entering foster care without needed clothing, toiletries or even a bag to put them in. She teamed up with the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas to extend the “That’s My Bag” Program to children in juvenile court, and she created the Children’s Closet at the Juvenile Justice Center where children in foster care can receive clothes, toiletries, books and stuffed animals.

Her care and commitment make Judge Zimmerman a powerful advocate for children who are not only in foster care but also in the larger community — always speaking up for their safety, health and wellbeing.

During her time serving thus far, Judge Zimmerman has also:

  • Established Washington County Juvenile Drug Court in 2009, with licensed substance-abuse counselors and hearings in the evenings so families can attend
  • Established Madison County’s first full-time juvenile probation officer in 1999
  • Created a separate, private and child-friendly section of the Juvenile Justice Center for young victims in 2000
  • With Washington County and Juvenile Detention Center Director Jean E. Mack, hired the first masters-level, licensed social worker in the state to work inside the detention center addressing mental health needs of juveniles.
  • Partnered with Springdale VFW Post 2952 and Northwest Arkansas Hunger Relief to give young children who appear in juvenile court a stuffed animal or Hot Wheels toy car
  • poken to hundreds of students and teachers while visiting area schools to talk about juvenile justice

Over the years, Judge Zimmerman and her staff have worked to develop partnerships with non-profit groups, volunteers and agencies in the community, and to seek out grant opportunities to fund youth programs and services.

“Our community is still growing and it will be important going forward to have a juvenile judge with a successful track record,” she said. “Someone with a strong network of partnerships in the community, and someone who has time-tested experience on the bench.”

Judge Zimmerman was named Arkansas Juvenile Judge of the Year 2009-2010 by the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice for her work with delinquent juveniles. She was named Arkansas Juvenile Judge of the Year 2006 by Arkansas CASA for her work with abused and neglected children. Fayetteville Kiwanis Club named her Citizen of the Year 2002; Fayetteville High School proclaimed Jan. 11, 2001 as Judge Zimmerman Day; and the Fayetteville Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, City of Fayetteville and University of Arkansas named Judge Zimmerman one of Fayetteville’s Young Top Five for 2000.

Governor Mike Huckabee appointed Judge Zimmerman to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee (1995-1998) and to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice (1999-2005). She worked as a volunteer attorney for children, a family law attorney and a juvenile court prosecutor before becoming Juvenile Judge in January 1999. Judge Zimmerman became a licensed attorney in 1987 and went on to earn her Master’s of Law Degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1988.

She is married with a son.

For more information about Judge Zimmerman’s strong work ethic and judicial experience, please visit