Few surprises, voters in mid-term primaries

Low turnout as candidates vied for position on November ballot


Matt Thompson triumphed over Lavonda Taylor in the Democrat primary for county treasurer, while Senator Keith Ingram cruised to an easy win over Turrell Mayor Dorothy Cooper in his re-election bid in the Senate District 24 race.

Thompson topped Taylor 1,101 to 773.

“It was a long grueling week of early voting,” Thompson said. “We both spent a lot of time out there.”

The political newcomer said he believes his background in finance and banking will be an asset to the county.

“Overall the county is in good shape,” Thompson said. “I just want to be in on how we spend our money moving forward.”

Taylor congratulated her opponent and said that she “met a lot of people and enjoyed the experience.”

Thompson will face Republican Devin Griggs in November.

In the Senate race, Ingram racked up 1,381 votes to 496 for Cooper and will return to Little Rock to serve his second and final four year term.

Ingram said he was pleased with the results and that he will be focusing his efforts on improving health care and education in the state as well as trying to eliminate the influence of “dark money” or out of state money that is used to sway elections in Arkansas. “I appreciate the voters faith in returning me to the Senate,” Ingram said. “I think the results showed that I worked hard.”

Cooper said she was grateful for the support. “I’m fine,” Cooper said. “I am very thankful for the nearly 500 people in the county who voted for me.”

In other local races, Justice Ronnie Marconi defeated Kyle Watkins in a re-match for the Justice of the Peace District 7 race 123-46.

“I’m just tickled to death,” Marconi said.

Watkins said he would “get him next time” and that he is “always looking for projects and looking forward to working with the kids at the (LR Youth Activity Center) club.”

In the only other county race, Cynthia Barnes Lucas topped Sherry Holliman 118-90 in the Justice of the Peace District 12 Democatic


“I’m looking forward to serving,” Lucas said. She will face Republican John Rech in November.

The Marion School District millage passed 742504 while the West Memphis School District Millage also passed with 834 for compared to 318 against.

Statewide, Governor Asa Hutchinson won the county 418-228 over challenger Jan Morgan in the Republican primary, while Jared Henderson won the Democrat primary 942-556 over Leticia Sanders.

In the Republican primary for Secretary of State, State Land Commissioner John Thurston narrowly edged Trevor Down 305-290.

And in the Supreme Court Justice 9 race, Judge Courtney Goodson emerged as the top vote getter polling 941, to 756 for Kenneth Hixson and 630 for David Sterling.

Voter turnout was only nine percent, according to Election Commissioner Frank Barton.

“That’s very low,” Barton said. “Lower than the last mid-term.”

By Mark Randall