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Election Commission certifies vote

McClendon re-elected, Brick elected, 4 runoffs set for December

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McClendon re-elected, Brick elected, 4 runoffs set for December

By RALPH HARDIN

[email protected]

The 2022 General Election is in the books, at least here in Crittenden County.

Monday afternoon, the Crittenden County Election Commission convened to go through a slate of provisional ballots and certify the results from the Nov. 8 vote.

It was mission: accomplished – eventually. Commissioners went through dozens of ballots turned in but not yet counted due to a variety of objections from poll workers. Issued included a lack of signatures or IDs on absentee ballots, convicted felons who submitted ballots, ballot cards that would not scan in the voting machines, voters who cast their ballots at the wrong polling sites, and a couple of instances where “Junior” voted under “Senior’s” name (and vice versa) by accident.

All of the ballots were screened and given either a thumbs-up or thumbsdown by the commission. Those who were approved were given to election coordinator Mike Farrah to be added to the total.

A few of the poll workers were on hand to explain why they raised concerns about some of the provisional ballots. One voter also showed up at the courthouse to make sure his provisional ballot was counted. It was.

“And thank you for showing up,” said commission chair Frank Barton as he and fellow commissioners Lisa Bell and Carolyn Anthony worked their way through the lengthy process.

“It didn’t change any of the results,” Barton said of the provisional ballots that were counted, “but we want to make sure everyone who took the time to vote and did so correctly got counted.”

After a through review, the commission unanimously voted to certify the election.

A few of last Tuesday night’s races will require voters to head to the polls one last time to decide a winner via runoffs (those multiple-candidate races where no candidate received a majority of the votes.

But one three-way race that will not require a runoff is the West Memphis mayor’s race, where incumbent Mayor Marco McClendon received 2,930 out of 4,705 votes

See VOTE, page A2 VOTE

From page A1

cast (62 percent) to soundly turn back the challenge of City Councilman Wayne Croom (1,391 or 30 percent) and City Clerk James Pulliaum (384 or 8 percent) to win.

There was far less intrigue in the county’s second largest city’s mayoral race. Tracy Brick is officially Marion’s new mayor-elect after Tuesday night’s vote. Brick, who is currently the city’s director of economic development, was unopposed in the election. She will be sworn in to replace outgoing mayor Frank Fogleman on Jan. 1, 2023.

One mayoral race that has yet to be decided is that of the City of Earle after a crowded field of five candidates failed to produce a winner with a majority.

Jaylen Smith outpolled his rivals with 205 out of 420 votes cast (48.8) percent, narrowly missing the majority that would have given him an outright victory by just six votes.

Instead, Smith will face runner-up Nemi Mattherws Jr. in a runoff next month. Matthews secured 168 votes

(40 percent) on Tuesday. Also-ran candidates Donald Stone (119 votes), Barbara Booker-Adkins (15) and Ramonda Henderson (13) will not be in the runoff.

In other local races, many new and familiar faces were on the ballot.

Local results

Anthonyville

Mayor

■ Leroy C. Wright Sr. (unopposed) Recorder

■ Shirley Craig (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Frederick S. Anthony (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Herbert Lee Wiley (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Freddie Lee Hicks (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Roy Eason (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ K.C. McKinney (unopposed)

Clarkedale

Mayor

■ Samuel H. Stuckey (unopposed) Recorder

■ Candace Pirani (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Fred G. Stuckey (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 3

■ Dave Thomas (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 5

■ Paul Pirani (unopposed)

Crawfordsville

Mayor

■ Joe Marotti (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Terri Watson (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Frances R. Wallace (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Dennis Masner Jr. (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Larry Zane Boyd (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ O’Neal Freeman Jr. (unopposed)

Earle

Mayor

■ Jaylen Smith – 205

■ Nemi Matthews Sr. –

168

■ Donald Ray Stone – 119

■ Barbara Adkins – 15

■ Ramonda Henderson –

13

■ Will be in runoff City Clerk

■ Cynthia L. Conner (unopposed) City Council Pos. 1-1

■ Sandra Holloway (unopposed)

City Council Pos. 2-1

■ Claudie M. Forrest –

129

■ Ann Pickering-Philyaw

-36 City Council Pos. 3-1

■ (No candidate filed) City Council Pos. 4-1

■ Angela R. Jones – 75

■ Demetrius Johnson Sr.

– 59

Edmondson

Mayor

■ Sidney Prackett – 55

■ Colt Boyd – 39

■ Art Gillard Jr. – 18

■ Will be in runoff Recorder/Treasurer

■ Hayward Shaw Jr. –

62

■ Larry Moore – 46 Town Council Position 1

■ Coletha Vasser (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Gary Cordell – 56

■ Oscar Matthew – 53

See VOTE, page A3 VOTE

From page A2

Town Council Position 3

■ Danielle Howard (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Travis Tate – 68

■ Sona Johnson – 30 Town Council Position 5

■ James Mitchell

Gilmore

Mayor

■ Bruce Delaney (unopposed)

Recorder/Treasurer

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 1

■ Cecil Elmore Jr. – 38

■ Kyle Kline – 23 Town Council Position 2

■ Terry Person (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Ethel Gordon (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 5

■ (No candidate filed)

Horseshoe Lake

Mayor

■ Gary G. Hahne (unopposed)

Recorder

■ Carol Adams (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Shawn E. Siders (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Harris Lentz III (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Terry Tarr (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Brian Hillis (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ Gregory Scott Davenport (unopposed) Town Council Position 6

■ (No candidate filed)

Jeannette

Mayor

■ ■ James Henderson Jr. (unopposed) Recorder/Treasurer

■ ■ Birdia Thompson (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Monica Young (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Mary L. Nance (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ ■ Sidney Witherspoon (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ ■ Alisia Mathis (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ Velma J. Thomas (unopposed)

Jericho

Mayor

■ Ida Shumpert (unopposed)

Recorder

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 1

■ Dorothy Parnell (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Juanita Edwards – 22

■ Betty Pollard – 15 Town Council Position 3

■ Tanya Witt – 19

■ Don Payne – 18 Town Council Position 4

■ Brenda Payne (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ Patricia Crume (unopposed)

Marion

Mayor

■ Tracy Brick (unopposed)

City Clerk

■ Patty James (unopposed)

City Attorney

■ ■ Christopher Crain –

1,674

■ Rachel R. Vaughn – 1,512

City Council Pos. 1-2

■ Adam Cupples – 2,139

■ David Bigger – 713

■ Bradly Moore – 444 City Council Pos. 2-2

■ Taylor Guy III (unopposed) City Council Pos. 3-2

■ Ray Nassar – 1,209

■ Sherry Holliman – 1,059

■ Leandra Schwartz – 978

■ Will be in runoff

Sunset

Mayor

■ Linsey Hayes – 40

■ Erica Parker – 7

■ R. Lynn Brown – 5 Recorder

■ (No candidate filed) Town Council Position 1

■ Rickey T. Phelix (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ Donella James (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Joyce Taylor (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Joyce Butler (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ Irene Phelix (unopposed)

Turrell

Mayor

■ Charles E. Webster –

134

■ Dorothy A. Cooper – 34 Recorder

■ Megan Wilhoite (unopposed) Town Council Position 1

■ Cassius Moore (unopposed) Town Council Position 2

■ James Lowery (unopposed) Town Council Position 3

■ Antonio Greer (unopposed) Town Council Position 4

■ Emanual Harris (unopposed) Town Council Position 5

■ Angela Scott (unopposed) Town Council Position 6

■ Jeffrey Thomas unopposed)

West Memphis

Mayor

■ Marco McClendon –

2,930

■ Wayne Croom – 1,391

■ James Pulliaum – 384 City Clerk

■ Patricia A. Joplin (unopposed) City Attorney

■ Michael Stephenson (unopposed) City Treasurer

■ Charles Suiter Jr. –

2,288

■ Hubert Bass – 2,086 City Council Pos. 1-1

■ James Holt (unopposed) City Council Pos. 2-1

■ Gheric Bruce – 495

■ Jaime Patterson – 263

■ Justin Stokes – 142 City Council Pos. 3-1

■ Charles Wheeless – 752

■ Jay Holder – 278 City Council Pos. 4-1

■ Lorraine L. Mohammed (unopposed) City Council Pos. 5-1

■ Helen Harris – 215

■ Joyce Gray – 177

■ Angela Eason – 86

■ Will be in runoff

There were few contested county-level races.

County Election Results

Of the county’s eight executive offices, there were five uncontested races. County Judge Woody Wheeless (D-Marion), Sheriff Mike Allen (D-Crawfordsville), Tax Assessor Kim Hollowell (D-Marion), Tax Collector Ellen Foote (D-West Memphis), and Treasurer Matt Thompson (D-Marion) were all running for re-election unopposed and will begin new terms in January.

A majority of the Crittenden County Quorum Court Justice of the Peace races were also uncontested including

■ JP 1 – Vickie Robertson (D-West Memphis)

■ JP 2 – Albert Marconi (R-West Memphis)

■ JP 3- Stacy Allen (D-West Memphis)

■ JP 4 – Tamara Hood (DWest Memphis)

■ JP 5 – Tyrone McWright (D- West Memphis)

■ JP 6 – Thomas Dill (DWest Memphis)

■ JP 7 – Ronnie Marconi (D- Proctor)

■ JP 8 – Kenneth Cross (D- Earle)

■ JP 10 – James Fraley (D- Turrell)

■ JP 11 – Lisa O’Neal (DMarion) In the lone Quorum Court race with two candidates, Robert Thorne Jr., a political newcomer, unseated Vanessa Basemore by a 778-389 margin.

In the Crittenden County Coroner’s race, incumbent Bill Wolfe outpolled his challenger Greg Shea 6,302 to 4,309.

Crittenden County Clerk Paula Brown was also re-elected to another term, earning 5,919 votes to challenger Linda Fritz’s 4,614.

Regional Races

Prosecuting Attorney, Second Judicial District

■ Sonia Fonticiella –

6,367

■ Martin Lilly – 3,113 State Supreme Court Associate Justice Pos. 2

■ Robin Wynne – 6,212

■ Chris Carnahan – 2,980 In the U.S. Congressional District 1 race, Crittenden County was part of the winning effort for Congressman Rick Crawford (R-1), who carried the county by

a 5,457-5,095 margin and the whole of District 1 by

a 150,367-51,317 margin over Democratic challenger State Rep. Monte Hodges.

The county likewise backed the winner in the U.S. Senate race won by Sen. John Boozman (RAR) in his re-election bid. Boozman garnered 5,411 votes to Democratic challenger Natalie James’s

4,973 and Libertarian also- ran Kenneth Cates’s 195.

Statewide, Boozman fared even better, with 587,965 votes to James’s 276,996 and Cates’s 28,503.

In Arkansas’s three other Congressional races, it was a sweep for the incumbents and a sweep for the Republicans as Congressman French Hill (R-2), Congressman Steve Womack (R-3) and Bruce Westerman (R-4) all won by large margins.

State Representatives Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) and Milton Nicks (D-Marion) were both unopposed in their re-election bids.

Statewide Races

Arkansas voters elected the first female governor in Arkansas history. Republican Sarah Sanders will succeed Gov. Asa Hutchinson as the top lawmaker in the state. Sanders won

63.11 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Chris Jones (35.05 percent) and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (1.84%). The vote was closer in Crittenden County, with Sanders outpolling Jones by just six votes

(5,273 to 5,267) but Sanders will assume the governor’s seat on Jan. 1, 2023.

The state will also have a new Lieutenant Governor. Current Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will take over the spot from Tim Griffin, who will slide over to Rutledge’s old job.

Full statewide results: Arkansas Governor

■ Sarah Sanders – 566,756

■ Chris Jones – 314,762

■ Ricky Harrington –

16,554 Lieutenant Governor

■ Leslie Rutledge –

572,949

■ Kelly Krout – 284,492

■ Frank Gilbert – 32,902 Attorney General

■ Tim Griffin – 601,270

■ Jesse Gibson – 285, 932 Secretary of State

■ John Thurston – 595,704

■ Anna Gorman – 290,722 State Auditor

■ Dennis Milligan –

590,802

■ Diamond Johnson-

254,144

■ Simeon Snow – 37,580 Commissioner of Lands

■ Tommy Land – 607,239

■ Goldi Gaines – 273,665 State Treasurer

■ Mark Lowery – 588,238

■ Pam Whitaker – 297,308

Ballot Issues

Arkansas voters were also asked to weigh in on four ballot measures. Crittenden County voters voted in favor of all four issues, but statewide all four failed to garner the 50 percent “yes” vote to become law.

Issue 1

Ballot Issue No. 1 would have allowed the General Assembly to call itself into session, a power reserved in the state constitution solely by the governor.

■ Against – 517,387

(60.9%)

■ For – 331,747 (39.1%)

Issue 2

Ballot Issue No. 2 would have raised the threshold for passing a voter-led ballot initiative from 50 percent to 60 percent beginning in 2024.

■ Against – 59.1%

■ For – 40.9%

Issue 3

Ballot Issue No. 3 would have added an ”Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment” to the state constitution.

■ ■ Against – 436,240

(50.4%)

■ ■ For – 428, 576 (49.6%)

Issue 4

Ballot Issue No. 4 would have authorized the use, possession and purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes and regulated the cultivation and sale of it.

■ ■ Against – 499,843

■ ■ For – 388,574 It took a little longer than the rest of last Tuesday’s election but the residents of Arkansas Senate District 9 now know who their new state senator will be in January.

Democrat Reginald Murdock was declared the winner late last week in his race against Poplar Grove businessman Terry Fuller. No winner was announced on Election Night last Tuesday after several issues in Phillips County caused a delay in the count. Finally, by Friday, enough votes had been counted that the race was called in Murdock’s favor. With 3 out of 4 precincts reporting, Murdock tallied

7,738 votes to Fuller’s 6,822. With fewer that 800 votes left to count, Fuller trails Murdock by 916 votes unofficially.

The vote was split fairly evenly across the newly-created District 9, comprised mostly of the defunct district currently held by Senator Keith Ingram who chose not to seek re-election. The district lies mostly in Crittenden County and includes parts of Lee, Phillips and St. Francis counties.

Murdock, who lives in Marianna, is currently finishing out his term in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Fuller won Crittenden County by a slim margin,

5,364 to 5,278. St. Francis went largely for Murdock

(1,730 to 961), as did his home county, Lee, by a 730–

497 margin. Phillips County numbers remain unavailable as to press time.

The seat will remain in the hands of state Democrats, one of only six across all of Arkansas. Republicans will outnumber Democrats in the Senate 29-6. The GOP also increased its super-majority in the state House to 82-17 with one seat yet to be decided in a runoff next month. In House District 56 (Faulkner County) were neither the Democratic incumbent Rep. Steve Magie nor his Republican challenger Trent Minner were able to garner enough votes to take the race outright due to the Libertarian candidate Howard Heffington collecting 3.27 percent of the ballots. The two local state representatives Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) and Rep. Milton Nicks (D-Marion) were both unopposed on election night.

All election results are considered unofficial until certification by each county board of election commissioners and by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.

Statewide voter turnout was

50.30 percent, with 905,011 votes cast out of 1.79 million registered voters. In Crittenden County, turnout was 32.22 percent, a number that, in Crittenden County Election Commission chairman Frank Barton’s opinion is more respectable than it sounds.

“County was showing

32,236 registered voters,” he said. “However, over 12,000 of those voters have never voted or not voted since

2016 and should have been removed from rolls.”

With those non-voters taken into account, a much larger percentage of the county’s active voters turned out for the 2022 vote.

“So our better number for active voters is around

20,130 and our turnout for early voting and Election Day was 10,389.”

Those numbers align more with the statewide average. Both state and local numbers are about 25 percent lower than in 2020, which is a typical drop-off going from a presidential election year to a midterm vote.

Runoff Races

There will be four runoff elections in Crittenden County.

To decide winner in the race for Mayor of Earle, Jaylen Smith and Nemi Matthews Sr. will face off.

In the race for Mayor of Edmondson, voters will be asked to decide between Sidney Prackett and Colt Boyd.

For the West Memphis City Council Ward 5, Position 1 seat, Helen Harris will face off Joyce Gray And in the race for the Marion City Council Position 3-2 seat incumbent Sherry Holliman will face challenger Dr. Ray Nassar in a runoff.

Early voting for those races will begin Monday, Nov.

28, and run through Monday, Dec. 5. The runoff election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The crowd at the Eugene Woods Civic Center gathers to watch the votes come in last Tuesday night.

Photo by Don Wilburn

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