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In 2017, the city of Marked Tree lost their leader, Mary Ann Ritter Arnold. Now, two men are running for Mayor to lead the community of 2,500 people.

Jim Huff and McDaniel “Danny” Johnson are the two candidates. Following Arnold’s death in December, appointed interim mayor Steve Craig chose not to run for mayor.

Jim Huff has stated that he wishes to build on Arnold’s legacy of caring for Marked Tree. Arnold, 90, has been credited with revitalizing the town’s business district, after being first elected in 2013. When Huff noticed that businesses were closing and houses were deteriorating, Huff went to Arnold who proposed that he serve Marked Tree as code officer.

Huff has stated that his focus is to clean up the town of Marked Tree to attract new business and growth, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Johnson, who currently serves on the city council, has also stated his desire to clean up Marked Tree. In addition, Johnson wants to instill accountability in the police department. Marked Tree’s Police Department saw the suspension and following resignation of the chief.

“We have lacked accountability,” he said. “We got to stop pulling people over for petty things like seat belt violations and faulty tags, and start working on getting rid of the drugs in our town.”

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