Incumbent Democrat Tyler Morgan and Republican challenger Wes Walters are on the Nov. 3 ballot for South Constable in Madison County.

Republican Incumbent Jason Villines is running unopposed for North Constable.

The constables are unpaid positions with the county.

The Record sent Morgan and Walters three questions in order to find out more about the job and the men.

What are the duties and responsibilities of the constable?

Morgan: “A constable is a peace keeper, and can’t perform duties of a deputy sheriff or police officer unless the person holding the office has had a minimum training of a reserve deputy, with firearms, racial profiling, domestic violence training, adding up to about 120 hours of training. Without that training the constable will not be able to make arrests, write citations, or carry a firearm. With that being said the constable has the same power as the sheriff of the county in his or her township/district.”

Walters: “The constable’s function in modern law enforcement in Arkansas varies substantially based on county. Some counties basically pay a full-time salary while others pay no salary whatsoever.  Madison County doesn’t pay a salary. The office of constable is established by the Arkansas Constitution and the duties include keeping the peace in each township. The constable is a duly elected law enforcement officer and has arrest authority and may carry a firearm (training required). Constables are generally viewed as additional or extra law enforcement presence for rural areas.”

What makes you the best candidate for the job of constable in the South township?

Morgan: “I myself was a reserve deputy for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for several years. I have had experience with the day to day job of a deputy/police officer. I have been a first responder/volunteer firefighter for several years also, so I have that on my resume as well. I feel that with my experience with the sheriff’s office and fire department, and my love for Madison County and the people in it makes me the best candidate.”

Walters: “I am well qualified to serve as constable. I have a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Stephen F Austin State University and also have done multiple training courses in firearms, law enforcement protocol, and general police procedures. The training requirements for constable will be easily completed within a couple of months of being elected (as Arkansas has it set up that the training must be after the election or appointment of officers generally.) I also have an extensive working knowledge of our roads and the area in the South Township.  Most importantly, I am the only candidate that is accessible and that lives and works in our township. I do routine daily house call appointments for my insurance agency all throughout the area. I am able to be available more than anyone that works out of county for someone else due to the flexibility of owning my own business.”

Give a brief background on yourself, such as where you work, how long have you lived in Madison County, etc.

Morgan: “I am 31 years old. I was born in Huntsville, Arkansas. I have lived in Saint Paul/Madison County my entire life, and there isn’t anywhere else I’d rather live. I have a 5-year-old daughter. I work at Packaging Specialities in Fayetteville, and it’s only 3 days a week which gives me the free time to be able to run for constable.”

Walters: “I am a single dad raising a 13-year-old daughter who lives in the Japton area and have offices from which I work in Elkins as well as Huntsville.  I grew up in NE Texas and moved to this area in 2011, renting in Elkins until building a home in Madison County. I have met literally hundreds of citizens in the county and have over 600 clients now. In summary, the community has been great to me and my daughter, as well as our business, and I want to give back by donating my time and effort to serving as your constable. I have made the campaign promise to be ‘A constable that works’ and I promise when elected to do just that, work with and for the citizens of Madison County.”

Early voting will take place at the Madison County Courthouse. Week one will be Oct. 19-24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Week two will be Oct. 26-31. The last day to Early Vote will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2. 

Registered voters in Madison County can vote at any of the five voting centers on Nov. 3. The centers are the Hindsville First Baptist Church, Huntsville Missionary Baptist Church, and community buildings in Kingston, St. Paul and Wesley. Social distancing will be required at all vote centers. Voters are not required to wear a face covering to vote, although one is strongly recommended.