Sunday, June 01, 2014

TOP STORY >> Early voting set to start Tuesday

Leader senior staff writer

In the final and certified Lonoke County primary election results, including recounts, absentee and provisional ballots, the numbers didn’t change much and the outcomes not at all, according to County Clerk Larry Clarke.

Clarke himself lost re-election to former clerk Dawn Porterfield in the Republican primary.


With primary runoff elections June 10, early voting will begin Tuesday.

Runoffs will be held in the following races:

In a bid for re-election, Assessor Jack McNally finished second to Jerrel Maxwell in a three-way race, but Maxwell fell short of the needed 50 percent plus one votes to avoid the runoff. The winner of the runoff has no challenger in the November general election.

For Butler Township con stable, Justin McCallister will run against Roger Williams. McCallister was in the news recently — since the May primary — for impersonating a law enforcement officer and confiscating a cell phone. McCallister is not currently affiliated with any law enforcement agency.

Leslie Rutledge got 47 percent of the votes in her bid for the Republican attorney general candidate and will face David Sterling again in a runoff. Finishing third was Patricia Nation, reportedly a resident of Jacksonville.

The winner will face Democrat Nate Steele in November.


Tim Lemons got 61 percent of the vote to beat Darlene Byrd, both of Cabot, for the House Dist. 43 position currently held by House Speaker Davy Carter of Cabot.

Carter was among the primary architects of the private-option Medicaid expansion in Arkansas, and Lemons says he wants to take another look at the program and the real numbers now that it is set in motion.

He said Tuesday afternoon that he was not hard set against the health insurance that now covers as many as 250,000 working poor Arkansans. Lemons said that, if the private option or Obamacare were rolled back, the state would need to find an alternative for those folks.

“I don’t know that dismantling it is the way,” he said. “It’s easy to stand back and say I’m against something, but we weren’t there during the hours and days and weeks of discussions.

“I know we have to do something, the system is broke.”


Lemons says the numbers that the Department of Human Services is providing are “flawed, and we need to re-examine them.” He said he couldn’t say how they were flawed.

He called encouraging the reports by hospitals that indicate fewer uninsured people are seeking care and that the hospitals are providing less uncompensated care and more compensated care.

Lemons said he’s afraid the private option will cause the state financial hardship. He said a couple of state legislators say they have a new program that is much more sound.

Questioning Obamacare — or the Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known — goes along with Lemons’ intention of “keeping federal control out of our state.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure the 10th Amendment is upheld,” he said.

He also wants to promote autism awareness, noting that he has a special-needs brother, and that a friend’s child is autistic.

Lemons wants to try to reduce taxes, preferring to tighten the belt and reallocate taxes. “I’m pro-life and for traditional marriage, “ he said, “and for the Second Amendment gun rights.”


Porterfield, the former county clerk who lost her office to Clarke two years ago, turned the tables, winning it back.

Formerly a Democrat, she ran as a Republican in a county where it is now difficult for a Democrat to win countywide office. She faces no opponent in November.

“I’ve always seemed to have some really good supporters on both sides,” she said.

She said Clarke is election and computer savvy and made some changes in the office that she’ll keep.

“I haven’t heard anything bad about how he was running his office,” she said.

His employees can apply for jobs in her office, and people currently in the voter registration and in the probate office are holdovers from her administration.

What would she change?

“Some of the record books need refurbished,” she said.