Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TOP STORY >> Staley, Lemons are winners in GOP’s primary Lonoke County Clerk Clarke loses; assessor faces runoff

Leader staff writer

More than 6,000 Republicans turned out for Lonoke County’s primary elections Tuesday that saw Sheriff John Staley keep his badge by solidly beating former Sheriff Jim Roberson and former deputy Steve Finch by about 3,000 votes.

Staley received 4,270 votes to Roberson’s 1,211 and Finch’s 951.

Lonoke County Clerk Larry Clarke, a Republican, lost to former Democrat-turned-Republican County Clerk Dawn Porterfield, 3,253-3,001.

Republican Tim Lemons garnered more votes than Darlene Byrd for the state representative District 43 position held by outgoing House Speaker Davy Carter. Lemons garnered 1,728 votes to Byrd’s 1,091.

For the District 14 state representative seat, Republican Buddy Fisher nearly doubled up on Trent Eilts, 1,413 to 777. Fisher will face Lonoke City Attorney Camille Bennett, a Democrat.

The county assessor’s position will have to be decided in a runoff in three weeks, along with the ButlerTownship constable race as no one got 50 percent of the vote in either race.

The run-off will be between Assessor Jack McNally, who finished second in a three-way race to Jerrel Maxwell. Marsha Beck came in third and it will be her supporters that will decide who the next assessor will be. In Tuesday’s primary, Maxwell got 2,765 votes to McNally’s 1,979 and Beck’s 1,438.

In Butler Township, Justin McAllister was the top vote getter with 113, followed by Roger Williams at 78, Jody Webb with 77 and John Huett Sr, garnered 46 votes. The runoff will be between McAllister and Williams.

Two races were decided by just two votes. In the District 6 justice of peace race, Jerry Cole outlasted Lee Linville by two votes and incumbent Efrem Jones remains the Lonoke Ward 5 alderman, beating Phillip Ford, 32 to 30. Both are Democrats and there is no Republican candidate for the Ward 5 position.

In other Lonoke County races:

n Circuit Clerk Deborah Oglesby kept her job handily, defeating Denise Brown, 4,381 votes to 1,921.

n In the race for District 5 justice of the peace, Adam Justice garnered 370 votes to Gregg Kidd’s 342.

n In the District 8 justice of the peace race it was Tate House easily beating Bryson Harpole, 402 to 176.

 The District 10 JP seat went to Bill Ryker, who defeated Robert Depriest III, 242 votes to 114.

 District 12 JP seat will go to Matt Sanders who beat Patricia Ann Knox by 39 votes.

 Coroner Mark Thomas will keep is job as he defeated Linda Meadows, 3,878 to 2,294.

 Ronnie Thrift won the Carlisle Township battle by beating Greg Renner, 227 to 79.

 The Lonoke Township constable will be Dean White, who garnered 252 votes compared to Steve Morgan at 160 and Adam Ingle with 64.

 Jane Derning may have only received 29 votes, but it was enough to keep her Ward 1 position on the Lonoke council as her opponent, Fred Ibbotson, fell short with just 11 votes.

In House District 41, Republican Karilyn Brown of Sherwood defeated Alan Pogue, 1,283-929.

There were no surprises in the state races.

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross blasted by Lynette (Doc) Bryant to become the Democratic candidate for governor. On the Republican side, Asa Hutchinson handily beat businessman Curtis Coleman to set up a Ross-Hutchinson duel for the governorship.

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin solidly defeated Andy Mayberry and Debra Hobbs for the Republican nod for lieutenant governor. He will face Democrat John Burkhalter in November.

Republican Leslie Rutledge beat David Sterling and Jacksonville resident Patricia Nation for attorney general. She will face Democrat Nate Steel in November.

French Hill takes the nod as the Republican candidate for the District 2 congressional seat as he gathered more votes than Conrad Reynolds or Ann Clemmer. He will face the former North Little Rock mayor, Democrat Henry Patrick Hays, in November.

Dennis Milligan got the Republican nod for state treasurer, beating Duncan Baird. Milligan will face Democrat Karen Garcia in November. Republican Andrea Lea moves forward in the state auditor race, beating Ken Yang. She will face Democrat Regina Hampton.

In the State Supreme Court, Associate Justice Position 2 race, Robin Wynne keeps her seat by defeating Tim Cullen.