Voters from the twelve east Arkansas counties that make up District 1 elected Lonoke County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Whiteaker to the Arkansas Court of Appeals to fill the vacant seat for District 1, Position 2 in the general election that was held on November 6, 2012. Judge Whiteaker defeated Jonesboro Attorney Jeannette Robertson with a margin of approximately 10% of the vote (53.83% to 43.81%).
In the May 2012 nonpartisan judicial election held during the primary on May 22nd, the field of three candidates for District 1, Position 2 was narrowed to two when Jonesboro Attorney Richard Lusby was eliminated from the race and the runoff election between Judge Whiteaker and Jeanette Robertson was set for November 6, 2012.
Arkansas Court of Appeals Position 2 for District 1 was previously filled by Judge Raymond Abramson, a Holly Grove attorney who was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe in 2010 to fill the vacancy left on the Arkansas Court of Appeals when Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. was appointed and confirmed as a federal judge to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Raymond Abramson ran for the Arkansas Supreme Court in the May 2012 nonpartisan judicial election, but was defeated by Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, who will begin her first term on the Arkansas Supreme Court in January 2013.