The Democratic Party of Arkansas will call local party committees in Ashley and Drew counties to host a special district convention on August 4 to select a nominee for the District 9 House seat in the Arkansas Legislature.
District 9 includes approximately two-thirds of both Drew and Ashley counties, including Monticello, Hamburg, and most of Crossett.
The party’s nominee, the late Sheilla Lampkin, who was seeking her fourth term in the Nov. 8 General Election, informed party and House leadership last Wednesday that she would be withdrawing her re-election bid. She died Saturday.
State Democratic Party rules guide the procedure for the special district convention which was called by the state party chairman Vincent Insalaco. Each county committee is apportioned a number of delegates equal to one per every 400 votes cast within the district for the Democratic nominee in the last gubernatorial election. Late Monday evening, the party released the total votes cast in the district in each county. In Ashley County, 1,982 votes were cast in the 9th House District for 2014 Democratic nominee Mike Ross. In Drew County, 2,343 votes were cast in the 9th House district for Mike Ross. Based upon those numbers, Ashley County will have five delegates at the special convention while Drew County will have six delegates.
Each of the two counties’ Democratic committees are required to elect their delegates at a special meeting this week.
The Drew County Democratic Committee will host a meeting on July 28 at 6 p.m. to select its delegates to the district convention. The meeting will be held at the Drew County Courthouse. The special district convention is set for August 4 at 6 p.m. in the Spencer Gallery of the Fine Art Center on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus.
A list of certified delegates is expected to be made public early next week. Candidates seeking to fill Lampkin’s place on the November 8 ballot, must be nominated from the floor of the convention by the delegates and receive a majority vote of the total delegates present. Although the final convention rules must be adopted by the delegates during the convention, potential nominees are expected to be provided an opportunity to present speeches at the convention.