The Jim Hall Saga Ends With Removal From State House Ballot

Candidate Jim Hall filing paperwork to run for an open state House seat covering parts of Ashley and Drew counties in south Arkansas.

Jim Hall, the Republican nominee for House District 9 in south Arkansas, will be removed from the November ballot for a 2014 hot check conviction. Special Circuit Judge Jim Laser ruled the conviction amounts to an infamous crime which bars Hall from the ballot.

Patty Wooten at SEARK Today reported Laser's interpretation of Hall's crime.

“It is a ruling of the court as a matter of law, Mr. Hall, you have been found guilty and convicted of an offense that includes as an element the intent to defraud and on that basis it amounts to an infamous crime under the Arkansas Constitution which renders you ineligible to take or serve office of State Representative at either upcoming election….”

Hall, of Monticello, took to Facebook after the decision to say the decision was a politically motivated conspiracy orchestrated by both Democrats and Republicans in Ashley and Drew counties. He accused his Democratic opponent, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General LeAnne Burch of Monticello, of orchestrating his demise.

Congratulations to incoming State Representative Leanne Burch. She could not win an election so used public corruption in the courts to have me removed from the ballot. Judge ruled in the Democrats favor. So one non registered voter chose for the District thanks to Johnnie Bolin and his Party of Hillary. Trump is right: the election is rigged. I have been punished twice for something that was never my fault. There was never any intent to defraud and the system in Drew County remains corrupt.

Hall promises it won't be the end of his political activities, despite the judge ruling him ineligible to hold office in the Arkansas General Assemly because of the nature of his crime involving the intent to deceive or defraud. 

I hereby announce my candidacy as an Independent for House District 9 for the 2018 election. We will be forming an exploratory committee to begin raising funds for the 2018 election. I remain Hall4House9.

He says he intends to appeal for this election as well. Attorney Chris Burks, an attorney for the state Democratic Party, argued the lawsuit on behalf of former state Representative Johnnie Bolin.

The Republican Party of Arkansas called for Hall to resign from the race last month following an appeal court upholding a lower court's conviction in a separate set of charges involving harassing his ex-wife. Following the ruling Hall told KUAR, "if I have to vote absentee from the jail I will do it. But I refuse to withdraw from this race." He is facing 90 days to a year in jail for those crimes.

With Hall's removal from the ballot the Democratic nominee Burch is unopposed on the November ballot. Burch narrowly secured her party's nomination at a special convention last month following the cancer related death of state Representative Sheilla Lampkin of Monticello. 

Both SEARK Today and Monticello Live promise further updates on the decision.