NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After JP-Elect Barry Jefferson was ruled ineligible Friday to take office, both candidates for the District 10 justice of the peace race were eliminated for similar reasons. Both said they hope to see changes in Arkansas election law.

A judge ruled that 2007 hot check convictions fell under Arkansas’ ‘infamous crimes’ law, which bars people from public office. Eric Crowder-Jones, Jefferson’s campaign manager, said the incident was complicated.

“[The check] was written by a family member of Mr. Jefferson that was dealing with some extenuating circumstances,” Crowder-Jones said. “I’ll just say that.”

In a statement, Jefferson indicated he accepted the ruling.

On behalf of my campaign and those that have supported me in this particular endeavor…

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served, campaigned, and to have been supported by the respective constituents of district 10…

It is my continued prayer and hope that district 10 continues to thrive and prosper in the things that concern their distinctive communities…

Lastly, with honest respect it is my prayer that my former opponent continues to serve those individuals of District-10 that have supported her during her process of campaigning…

Within the confines of politics, sometimes our past mistakes and mishaps come to haunt us on the campaign trail…

However, it is my hope that irregardless of anyone’s past, they continue to push forward towards being productive in an attitude of servitude; whether in position or out…

When one door closes many others open… It’s my endeavor to continue to serve the people of Pulaski County (District-10) because I hurt that we have people hungry and hurting without a voice to rally their need…

I will continue to fight for social justice, criminal justice reform, and continue to work with the NAACP as a voice for voter rights…

We still have a lot of work to continue!!!

Respectfully, Barry D. Jefferson

“For one, I was shocked that he had a hot check conviction,” Gulley said.

Gulley, who claimed the initial complaint filed against her was politically motivated, said Friday’s ruling was vindicating.

“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” Gulley said.

Gulley said she hopes to run again depending on whether Arkansas’ “infamous crimes” law can be amended.

“My lawyer said I should be able to run again after my record is sealed,” Gulley said. “We’re just going to pray about it.”

Crowder-Jones said the push to change the law is what’s next for many affiliated with this race.

“That particular law is so petty when you’re running to represent districts where the people need you,” Crowder-Jones said.

Multiple Pulaski Co. officials said Friday that it will likely be Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s responsibility to fill the seat, which Gulley still holds. 

Jefferson and Gulley are both Democrats. Hutchinson, a Republican, nominated someone from his own party when a similar situation occurred in Washington Co. last year.