by Max Brantley
Buzz from multiple points today is that Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Linker Hart of Mountain View is considering a run next year for an open state Supreme Court seat from which Jim Gunter is retiring. Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Abramson of Clarendon (serving by appointment, where Hart has been serving by election since 1999) had previously announced for this seat and has been hard at work raising money and signing up some big names in business and law for his campaign.
It would be a free shot for Hart, who won a tough re-election battle in 2010 with Circuit Judge Rhonda Wood of Conway, who's seeking election to the Court of Appeals again next year. It would be for the second seat in the same judicial district. A Hart candidacy has some relevance in the Court of Appeals race Wood is making. The vote was dramatically divided in 2010, with Hart carrying her home area, including Batesville, where she had practiced law, enough to overcome Wood's strength in Faulkner County. Wood is to be opposed in the 2012 race by Mitch Cash, Searcy County district judge in Marshall in the northern part of the judicial district. Hart's presence on the ballot conceivably could help Cash.
More when I can actually reach Hart to ask her about it.