by Max Brantley
A number of contested judicial races this year, including two for the state Supreme Court, will bear watching this year. The candidates themselves can't say much, on account of ethical codes, but sometimes their contributors speak loudly.
Take, for example, Circuit Judge Rhonda Wood, who is challenging incumbent Court of Appeals Judge Jo Hart for a seat representing a slew of counties ranging mostly north from Wood's home base in Faulkner County.
Her first campaign report showed she'd raised $8,375. Of that, $7,000 came from Tyson Foods -- $2,000 each from the company, Don Tyson and John Tyson and $1,000 from Tyson employee Allyn Tatum.
The Appeals Court, it's worth noting, handles a heavy caseload of workers comp cases. Tatum is a former workers comp commissioner who oversees workers comp for the poultry giant, where workplace injuries happen now and then. Just saying. Wood also got $500 from the Arkansas Insurance Association.