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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

2 Fulton County officials give up seats

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fulton County Tax Collector Calvin "Buster" Smith and Treasurer Donna Hall are smiling at the prospect of retirement next January. After seven terms, Smith has decided not to run for re-election, and Hall, who has served two terms as Treasurer and worked for 20 years at the courthouse, is also stepping down. The filing period for candidates for the May Primary begins Feb. 23.
When the May Primary election is held on May 22, two familiar names will be missing from the ballot.

Calvin "Buster" Smith has decided not to seek a seventh term as Tax Collector, and Treasurer Donna Hall has also decided to call it quits after two terms.

Their decisions come as other Fulton County office holders are announcing re-election bids, in advance of the candidate filing period which begins Feb. 23.

Fulton County Sheriff Buck Foley, who is serving his first two year term, has announced he will seek re-election, as has County Judge Charles Willett, County Clerk Vickie Bishop and County Assessor Brad Schaufler.

"I just decided I was going to the house," Treasurer Donna Hall laughed when asked why she had decided not to seek re-election.

While Hall has served two terms as an elected official, she has worked at the county courthouse for the past 21 years.

"I began working in the Assessor's Office in 1991," Hall said. After seven and a half years, she moved to the Treasurer's Office to become Deputy Treasurer when Larry Humphries was elected in 1998.

"I had never thought of running myself but, when Larry decided to retire in 2007, I was encouraged to give it a try," Hall told The News.

"I've enjoyed serving as County Treasurer, and working all these years in the courthouse," Hall added, "you meet and get to know a lot of people, because about everybody has to come in here sooner or later."

So far, two people have announced they will run for Hall's seat, Mammoth Spring Police Officer Jamie Turnbough and Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Seth Jones.

"When Larry and I came into office in 1998, outgoing treasurer Boyd Hickinbotham had us come in for a month before the change-over to learn what had to be done. I am going to offer the same thing to who ever gets elected to replace me," Hall said.

Buster Smith also has fond memories as his years as Tax Collector.

"I ran C and S Printing for many years, but I always thought I'd enjoy serving the people as an elected official, and was fortunate enough to get to do it," Smith said.

Smith is wrapping up his sixth two-year term in office. During his tenure, he had just one challenger.

"People in Fulton County have always been good to me and my wife (Sue)," Smith said. "Now, I think it's time for us to relax and do what we want to do."

Smith's long-time deputy, Michalle Watkins, has announced she will now seek the Tax Collector's job.

One other fixture in county government, Justice of the Peace Jim Bicker, announced in December he had decided it was time for someone else to take his place on Quorum Court, after six terms.

The filing period for the May Primary begins at noon on Thursday, Feb. 23, and ends at noon on March 1.

The Fulton County Republican Party has been actively trying to recruit a slate of candidates for the fall election. Following a recent meeting, an officer said six or seven candidates had come forward with the intention of running for office on the Republican ticket.

In Izard County, all incumbents have announced for re-election, including County Judge David Sherrell, Sheriff Tate Lawrence, Treasurer Nancy Pratt, Assessor Tammy Sanders, County Clerk Rhonda Halbrook and Tax Collector Marilyn Downing.

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