LITTLE ROCK — Mike Maggio of Conway, circuit judge for the 20th Judicial District, announced Thursday he will seek a position on the Arkansas Court of Appeals next year.
Maggio said he will run for the District 2, Position 1, seat on the court. The seat is now held by Bill Walmsley, an appointee of Gov. Mike Beebe.
"I am excited to announce my candidacy for the Arkansas Court of Appeals," Maggio said in a news release. "I look forward to bringing a conservative philosophy to the bench. To borrow a baseball analogy, Arkansas needs strict constructionist umpires on the judicial bench to call balls and strikes, not activist judges who will redefine what the strike zone may or may not be."
Maggio was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee as a circuit judge for the 20th District, which includes Faulkner, Searcy and Van Buren counties, in 2001. He has won two elections for circuit judge since being appointed.
In 2010, the state Ethics Commission fined Maggio $500 and issued a public letter of warning to him. The panel said he took campaign funds as personal income and failed to report how the money was spent during the 2008 election.
Maggio said Thursday the disciplinary action resulted from improper documentation of finances for which he was not immediately responsible because judges are prohibited from handling their campaign finances.
"I as the candidate took responsibility," he said. "It has not affected my ability to be a judge one single day. The Judicial Discipline (and Disability) Commission took no action."
Maggio majored in history and political science at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and obtained his law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He worked as a lawyer in private practice for 11 years, focusing on representing business clients, and has been a small business owner.
Arkansas Court of Appeals District 2 includes Baxter, Boone, Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Marion, Newton, Pope, Randolph, Searcy, Sharp, Stone and Van Buren counties.