Two Baxter County officials have declared their intention to retire this year during Tuesday evening’s Quorum Court meeting.
Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass announced he would not be seeking reelection this year. At the same time, District 3 Justice of the Peace Robert “Bob” Lowery announced he would be retiring from office Wednesday.
“This will be my last meeting as a JP,” said Justice Robert Lowrey. “I’m pursuing other avenues that require that I resign from any partisan position. I just want to say that it’s been a real pleasure for me to serve for three years here. I feel we’ve all represented our constituents well, and I think we’ve done some good for the county, and that makes me feel good.”
Lowrey served as a Servier County district judge for 21 years before serving as a circuit judge for Arkansas’ 9th Judicial Circuit West.
His time at court saw him as a deputy public defender and prosecutor, as well as a court administrator for Arkansas’s Supreme Court.
“I leave you with no regrets because I have enjoyed it very much,” Lowrey said.
Following Lowrey’s announcement that he was leaving the court, Judge Pendergrass also took the opportunity to address his intentions for this year’s elections and his desire to retire after 50 years of service in the workforce.
Pendergrass has served Baxter County in various government roles for 34 years. Pendergrass served as County Judge for three two-year terms before voters approved an amendment in 2017 to allow officials to hold office for four years.
He will continue to serve until the completion of his four-year term in Dec.
“Thank you for putting your trust in my abilities to serve you and to serve the whole county of which I have tried for 10 years to do,” said Judge Pendergrass. “I have served in some form of government in Baxter County for over 34 years, and I think it is time, after much consideration, prayer, and concertation with family. It is time for me to take the next step.”
During his speech, Pendergrass said he is ready to return home to serve God and his family while enjoying his “golden years.” His time in office has taken him to the steps of the Governor’s Mansion in Arkansas and the Oval Office itself in Washington, DC.
Pendergrass experienced a serious health scare in 2016 and spoke about how his experience changed his outlook on life.
“Thanks to my wife and quick actions, Baxter Regional Hospital saved my life, giving me many quality years to go yet,” Pendergrass said. “This event made me even more aware of the facts of life. Life is short. And we only have a short time to serve our community, our God, and our family. I now wish to retire with over 50 years in the workforce.”
Three candidates have announced their intentions to run for Baxter County Judge in 2022. Mountain Home Clerk Brian Plumlee made his announcement in Dec. Eric Payne from Lone Rock also announced his attention to run.
Kevin Litty, justice of the peace in the Baxter County Quorum Court, also announced his run for the seat yesterday morning.
“It gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I made a contribution for the good of all of Baxter County,” Pendergrass said.