Wednesday, November 09, 2016

TOP STORY >> English, Johnson re-elected

Leader staff writer

Editor’s note: All totals are as of midnight Tuesday.

In an historic presidential election that pitted the first woman to possibly become president against the first person in a century or more to make it to the top without ever holding a political office, the people went with the outsider.

Businessman Donald J. Trump bested longtime politician Hillary Clinton with 305 projected electoral votes to Clinton’s 233.

Arkansas voters sided with Trump, 60 percent to 34 percent, giving the state’s six electoral votes to Trump.

Arkansans also kept all the Washington incumbents who were running for re-election.

Also, all ballot issues, including the use of medical marijuana, passed.

Republican Sen. John Boozman, defeated Democrat Conner Eldridge, a Lonoke native and former U.S. attorney, and Libertarian Frank Gilbert. Boozman gathered 538,348 votes, or 60 percent, to Eldridge’s 318,496 votes, or 36 percent, and Gilbert came in a distance third with 37,478 votes, or 4 percent.

In the Second District, Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock) bested his Democratic challenger, Diane Curry, as well as Libertarian Chris Hayes.

French captured 156,326 votes, or 59 percent, compared to Curry with 97,178 votes, or 37 percent and Hayes netted 12,194 votes, or 4.5 percent.

State Sen. Jane English (R-North Little Rock) bested Democrat Joe Woodson, a North Little Rock attorney, for another term as the Dist. 34 senator, which includes North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville.

English grabbed 58 percent of the vote (19,692) to Woodson’s 42 percent or 14,109 votes.

In the three competitive local House races, Dist. 42 Rep. Bob Johnson (D-Jacksonville) beat back a solid challenge by Patrick Thomas, 5,065 votes, or 58 percent, to 3,601 votes, or 42 percent.

“I’m humbled by the support of the fine people of District 42, and I will serve everyone to the best of my ability,” Johnson said late Tuesday night after receiving a congratulatory call from Thomas.

Lonoke County Justice of the Peace Roger Lynch came from behind to beat Rep. Camille Bennett (D-Lonoke) for the Dist. 14 seat. Lynch netted 3,832 votes, or 52 percent, while Bennett pulled in 3,537 votes, or 48 percent.

In Dist. 38, which includes North Little Rock and half of Sherwood, Democrat Victoria Leigh and Republican Carlton Wing, both of North Little Rock, were vying for the seat vacated by Rep. Donnie Copeland, who lost to English in the Republican Senate primary in March.

Wing defeated Leigh, 7,009 votes to 6,438.

Also in Sherwood, voters decided two of the seven Pulaski County Special School Board races: Linda Remele bested Gloria Lawrence for the Zone 3 position, 62 percent to 38 percent. Shelby Thomas defeated Cori Burgett Fetters and Leonard Smith for the Zone 4 seat. Thomas garnered 52 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. Fetters had 30 percent and Smith had 20 percent.

Sherwood residents also approved a measure that will improve parks and give the city flexibility to get the work done faster and cheaper without raising taxes, but redirecting current Advertising and Promotion taxes. The measure passed with 9,313 votes for it and 4,752 votes against.

Cabot had three competitive aldermen races, and one is headed for a runoff in three weeks.

Alderman Doyle Tullos and his two opponents, Norma Naquin and Wendell Gibson, split the vote almost equally for the Ward 3, Position 1 seat. Naquin was the top vote getter with 2,149, or 34 percent, followed by Tullos with 2,109 votes, which also rounds to 34 percent, and Gibson with 2,026 votes, or 32 percent. Norma Naquin and Wendell Gibson.

Challenger Damon Bivens defeated Alderman Jon Moore, 3,632 votes to 2,559 for the Ward 2, Position 2 seat.

Alderman Rick Prentice stood strong against a challenge by Tom Koller for the Ward 3, Position 2 seat. Prentice garnered 9,313 votes to Koller’s 4,752.

Judge Joe O’Bryan lost to Ward City Attorney Clint McGue, who had finished first in the March vote, but fell short of the required 50 percent to avoid a runoff. The third candidate in that election, John Flynn, endorsed McGue.

McGue grabbed 55 percent of the vote to O’Bryan’s 45 percent.

Beebe Alderman Tracy Lightfoot bested Donald Lewis for another Ward 2, Position 2 term. Lightfoot garnered 63 percent of the vote to Lewis’ 37 percent.

In Pulaski County, it was incumbent Doc Holladay with 82 percent of the vote and Lonoke Police Chief Patrick Mulligan with 18 percent.

All the ballot issues passed:

Issue 1 extends the terms of county judges, county court clerks and county surveyors from two years to four years.

Issue 2 lets Arkansas governors retain their authority when out of the state.

Issue 3 vastly expands the state’s offerings of incentives to businesses looking to open here. Now, the state can only spend $259 million annually to entice businesses. Issue 3 has been touted as a major economic plan that would create jobs and bring major corporations to Arkansas. It has been criticized as a boondoggle that will add to the state’s debt.

Issue 6 legalizes marijuana use for 17 medical conditions and create cannabis dispensaries to be managed by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Issues 4, 5 and 7 even though on the ballot, were disqualified by the state Supreme Court.