NEW FOR 2019: Atchley takes over District 7 seat
By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Retired businessman Steve Atchley has been a fixture at public meetings in Hope over the past few years, even being named as a chairman of the City of Hope’s revival of its Beautification Committee, but now Atchley has a seat — and a vote — at the public table as the new Justice of the Peace on the Hempstead County Quorum Court for District 7.
Atchley endured and won two elections in 2018 leading up to today as he is sworn in with his friend, Troy Lerew, as a first time Justice. In May 2018, District 7 saw three strong candidates within the primary. Atchley, himself, along with a first-term incumbent, Mikki Curtis, and local attorney Jim Burke.
Atchley came out of the May 22 primary leading both Curtis and Burke, but without a 50-percent plus margin in the vote, he and Curtis went into a runoff in June. Once there, Atchley prevailed 55 to 42 in a light turnout, limited to District 7 which includes parts of Hope and Shover Springs.
Atchley said afterwards, “I am excited and very appreciative of the voters for selecting me as their candidate. I will do everything I can to provide my constituents good service and a voice in county government.”
“I think it showed that people are ready for some change. I have been involved in the community, and I am ready to serve in this new capacity. I want to see this community grow and prosper,” he said.
Atchley has continued to be a presence, but a quiet one, both at the Hope City Board meetings as well as the Hempstead County Quorum Court.
Atchley has also continued to serve on the Hope Beautification Committee, and he also continued to be a strong advocate of downtown Hope, where he was owner of Inked Threads, a local printing company based in downtown Hope, before retiring.
Prior to his time in private business, Atchley had a distinguished career in area law enforcement, first with the Hope Police Department, then the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Department, and later, as supervisor with the Arkansas Highway Patrol.
During the campaign, Atchley said, “I was born and raised in Hempstead County, and I raised my family here in Hope. I’ve lived in this area when it was booming and prosperous. I want to see it grow and become economically vibrant again. That is my main goal, and that is why I am running.”
At the time, Atchley also said he has been concerned about the direction of both city and county affairs, saying “We need economic development, and we need to be conservative in our approach to taxes and government spending at the local level.”