Crawford County Democrat Party will host its first seminar of the year from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Crawford County Emergency Management Center, 1820 Chestnut St., Van Buren.

“Anyone who wants to learn about our upcoming campaigns and how they can get involved is welcome to come and see what we have planned for the year,” said Sheila Bell, Democratic Party chair.

The 2018 election cycle will see changes in many offices in Crawford County and around the state with the passage of Initiated Act No. 1 in 2016, Bell noted.

Any county official who is elected in 2018 will serve four-year terms. The county judge, county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor, county tax collector, county treasurer and the county sheriff all will serve four year terms. Justices of the peace were not included in the new legislation.

“Voter information technology which has been available to assist state and national campaigns is now available to us to help our local candidates, and we intend to help them in every way possible,” said Tom Watkins, Democratic committeeman. “We will be working on the county level and on the congressional level.”

Bell said the group hopes to accomplish the following with this first informational seminar:

• Strategies for organizing and financing a campaign. How to get started 101.

• Presenting an overview of what is up for election in 2018. The offices, duties, length of terms and salaries.

• Filing process for the Democratic primary in May.

• A demonstration of the ARKVAN voter database and the power it can have as a tool in campaigns.

• Providing information on costs of campaign materials and printing.

“This seminar is free and open to all who pledge to file as a Democrat if they choose to run for a position,” Watkins said.

Other seminars after the primary will be scheduled to organize groups to assist candidates and plan for the fall campaigns. The group also plans to sponsor events to allow candidates to meet with the voters all over the county.

Space is limited.