Washington County Judge Patrick Deakins (right) received the John Paul Hammerschimdt Party Builder Award from the Republican Party of Arkansas August 19 at the state committee meeting in North Little Rock. Congratulating Deakins is RPA outgoing Chairman John Parke. At the last state committee meeting in December, 2022, the party recognized the Washington County Republican Committee as the state’s best committee and the Third Congressional District, under the chairmanship of Washington County’s Susan Gessler, as best congressional district. Chairman Parke, who has served as the state party’s first vice-president, stepped into the chairmanship following the recent appointment of former Chairman Cody Hiland to the Arkansas Supreme Court by Governor Sarah Sanders. Parke was scheduled for soon replacement by former Washington County Judge Joseph Wood, elected state party chairman at the August 19 meeting. Hammerschmidt, for whom the party builder award was named, was Third District Congressman from 1967 to 1993. He died in 2015 at the age of 92.