Cantrell announces candidacy for county judge

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Longtime Payneway resident and businessman Bob Cantrell announced this week he will be a candidate for Poinsett County Judge in the May 20 Democratic primary.

Cantrell is the owner of Cantrell Welding and Fabrication at Payneway and a pipeline welder for many years who has retired. He said he believes he has the ability and the time to serve as the county's chief executive.

"I have been approached by several people who have encouraged me to seek this office," Cantrell said. "They seem to think that with my knowledge of construction, farming and business that I can do a good job. If I am elected, I will do my best."

Cantrell said Poinsett County needs a lot of work, "but so does every county that I know of. It seems like our roads have become excessively bad because of all of the flooding and other problems, including a lack of money.

"I've got some ideas and a plan that I believe could save the county some money and make a difference. I'm not political in any way, and I want everyone to know that every person in Poinsett County is important to me, and no one will receive preferential treatment.

"I think I can do a good job, and I would like to do something for the county that I have lived in my lifetime," he said.

Cantrell was born in Manila, but his family soon moved to Marked Tree, then Harrisburg, before moving to Payneway in 1956.

"I worked on projects from water treatment plants to nuclear power plants," Cantrell said.

He also taught welding classes at Arkansas State University-Marked Tree and at the ASU Technical Center in Jonesboro. Cantrell said he helped Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann a few years ago in establishing welding classes at the department to help train some short-term inmates in job skills they could use.

A metal fabricator, Cantrell said he has built farming equipment and commercial car-hauling trailers over the past several years before retiring.

Cantrell is the son of the late Harold and Norma Lee Cantrell. He and his wife, Janice Wray Cantrell, have been married for 48 years. They are active members of Nettleton Baptist Church. They have a daughter, Rebecca Smith of Trumann, and one grandson, Gabe Smith, 9.

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