Judge Kemp to seek re-election
Judge John Dan Kemp of Mountain View has announced plans to seek re-election to the 16th Judicial District Circuit Court, Division One position in the non-partisan judicial election this May. Judge Kemp was elected to the Circuit Court bench in 1986 and took office January 1, 1987.
The 16th Judicial District -- composed of Fulton, Izard, Stone, Cleburne and Independence Counties -- was formed in 1978, and Judge Kemp is the senior Circuit Judge in service since that time.
A native of Mountain View and graduate of Mountain View High School, Judge Kemp graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1973 and the University of Arkansas Law School in 1976. He practiced law in Mountain View and was elected city attorney in 1976.
In 1977, Judge Kemp was appointed Mountain View Municipal Judge by then-Governor David Pryor, and was elected to that position in 1980 and 1984. He also served as city judge of Calico Rock from 1979-1981. He is past president of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Mountain View Lions Club. He is a former Masonic District Deputy.
Judge Kemp was elected as a delegate to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention in 1978, representing Stone, Izard and part of Sharp county. In 1983, he was elected president of the Arkansas Municipal Judges Association and later served on the board of directors of that organization.
In 1989, Judge Kemp was appointed by then-Governor Bill Clinton to the Arkansas Adult Probation Commission, and served on the Commission until June, 1993.
He has taken numerous judicial education courses sponsored by the National Judicial College, the American Academy of Judicial Education and the American Institute for Justice since becoming Circuit Judge. Judge Kemp has also attended two judicial seminars each year sponsored by the Arkansas Judicial Council, the organization consisting of all circuit judges and appellate judges in Arkansas. Judge Kemp has served on the board of directors of the Judicial Council and served as President in 2009.
Judge Kemp was elected in April, 2007, by his fellow judges of the 16th Judicial District to serve as Administrative Judge of the District. Under the District's current Administrative Plan approved by the Arkansas Supreme Court, Judge Kemp presides over the Criminal Division in Independence, Cleburne and Stone Counties and the Drug Court in all five counties. Judge Kemp serves on the board of directors of the Arkansas Drug Court Professionals Association and served as President in 2010-2012.
Judge Kemp and his wife, Susan, have two daughters, Erin Brogdon, an attorney in Little Rock and Lauren, a fashion designer in Portland, Oregon. Mrs. Kemp is a retired Family and Consumer Science teacher at Rural Special and Mountain View Public Schools. The Kemps attend the School Avenue Church of Christ in Mountain View, where he serves as an elder.
"It's a great honor to serve the people of this District as one of their Circuit Judges," Judge Kemp said, "and I hope to be re-elected in May and continue to use my experience to serve as judge."