FORT SMITH, Ark. – Sebastian County Circuit Judge Gunner DeLay announced Thursday his candidacy for Arkansas Supreme Court position 6.
The position is currently held by Justice Karen Baker.
The term of office for a supreme court justice is eight years. The election will be held on May 24, 2022.
Delay has been the Sebastian County Circuit Judge since he was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2018. He was re-elected without opposition in 2020.
As a circuit judge, DeLay says he’s handled trials involving civil litigation as well as felony criminal cases.
DeLay says his 30 years of legal experience and history of public service make him well qualified to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
DeLay served in the Arkansas legislature from 1995 until 2003. He has been a state representative and a state senator.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee appointed DeLay to fill a two-year term as prosecuting attorney for Sebastian County in 2007.
DeLay also served as Fort Smith District Judge in 2018 and 2019.
DeLay says his judicial philosophy is modeled after Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
“I am a strong believer in judicial restraint when it comes to interpreting statutes and the constitution,” DeLay said. “Judges should be guided by the original intent of the framers and the plain language of the text, as opposed to making law that fits their own political agenda.”
DeLay explained his motivation for running for the state supreme court is simple.
“The supreme court is the last line of defense for protecting the rights of the people; rights that include free speech, the right to bear arms, and due process of law,” DeLay said. “The stakes in the race are high because what courts decide today determines the kind of world our kids and grandkids live in tomorrow.”
DeLay also noted the importance of electing judges who are not persuaded by outside influencers.
“It is critically important we elect judges who are independent and unafraid,” DeLay said. “I demonstrated that type of courage as a state legislator, and will continue to be that type of justice on the supreme court.”
DeLay has been married to his wife, Robin, for 36 years. They have four children and two grandchildren.