Judge Mark R. Johnson, longtime resident of Sharp County, announced his candidacy for District Judge (Position 1) of the Eleventh Judicial District serving Randolph, Lawrence, and Sharp counties.

“It has been an honor to serve as the Sharp County District Judge for the past 15 years, and I hope to continue to serve the people of the 11th Judicial District,” said Johnson. “Everyone who comes to my courtroom is treated with respect, and everyone is held accountable for their actions. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to help victims of domestic abuse, and I’ll continue to be their advocate from the bench.” Johnson vows to continue working to help people get their lives back on track and tackle the root causes that push so many people into the judicial system while doing all he can to help make victims whole.

Recognizing that domestic violence is all too prevalent in society today, Judge Johnson has been very proactive in addressing victims of domestic violence. Before Arkansas passed a law requiring investigating and arresting police officers of a domestic abuse case to fill out documents submitted to the court (generally referred to as lethality statements), Judge Johnson enacted a policy in Sharp County requiring the officers to fill out similar documents. His proactive handling of abusive situations has helped many victims of domestic abuse escape from such devastating and sometimes deadly situations.

Judge Johnson has devoted the past fifteen years as a dedicated judge in our community and has served as a role model to many that come before him. More often than not, the people that find themselves in his courtroom need something more than jail or a fine. Sometimes the answer is a work program or community service, and sometimes people need rehabilitation. Johnson has been and continues to be an advocate for people working to better themselves. He is committed to providing a much-needed service to the community that he loves, and he consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that people get the assistance they need.

Over the past 15 years, Judge Johnson has presided over hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal and civil cases delivering fair and just rulings. This is supported by the fact that Sharp County District Court has one of the fewest histories of appeals with rulings being overturned by a higher court.

Not only has Judge Johnson served behind the bench, he has spent countless hours away from it as well in various aspects of community outreach and volunteerism. While serving as attorney for Cherokee Village Concerned Citizens Committee, he helped the citizens through the legal maze that ultimately resulted in the incorporation of Cherokee Village as the largest city in Sharp County.

Since 1985, District Court Judge Mark Johnson has served as president of the Board of Directors of Network of Community Options, Inc. a private non-profit organization providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities in 20 counties with 12 locations throughout northeast Arkansas.

Judge Johnson is a member and past delegate of the Arkansas Bar Association and active member and former president of the Tri-County Bar Association, a current member of the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce and in 2007, received the E. Wilson Green award for outstanding contribution to the community; and a charter member of the Quad Cities Rotary Club wherein he received its highest honor, the 2009-2010 Service Above Self award. Judge Johnson served as past president and a member of the Sharp County Jaycees.

He is a former board member for Arkansas Legal Service, serving 15 counties in the area and an active member of the Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly (AVLE) and past pro-bono attorney for children in abusive situations.

Judge Johnson is a past recipient of the Governor Volunteer Excellence Award for outstanding volunteer service to the people of Arkansas and a multi-time recipient of the Volunteer Attorney of the Year award for Sharp and Fulton counties and the State of Arkansas Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney Award for Senior Citizens.

He is a 1975 graduate of Highland High School and a 1979 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor degree in public administration. Johnson received his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1983.

Mark lives in Hardy with his wife, Margretta (Guilliams) and granddaughter, Harper.