BY MELANIE BUCK –
The 2016 General Election was held on Tuesday, November 8th and Republican nominee Donald Trump has been voted in as the 45th President of the United States. Trump will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Trump received 290 electoral college votes, claiming the country’s highest seat. In Arkansas, Trump received 60% of the vote and in Polk County, he claimed 80% of the vote, with 6,606 votes cast in his favor. His closest competitor was Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton who received 1,210 votes in Polk County, attributing to less than 15%.
In local races, John Gordon won seat 4 of the Hatfield Town Council with 75% of the vote, or 92 votes. His opposing candidate, Roger Marney received 30 votes, for 25%.
In the Acorn Constable race, Frank Moore and Kristopher Lyle will face each other in a run-off. Moore received 47% of the vote, or 294 votes, and Lyle received 36%, or 226 votes. There were two more candidates in the running, John Boren received 55 votes and John Paul Jones received 47 votes. The run-off between Moore and Lyle will be held on Tuesday, November 29th. Voters in that district will need to vote at the Acorn polling station from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. that day. Early voting for the run-off will be held in the Polk County Clerk’s Office, located inside the Courthouse beginning Tuesday, November 22 during the hours of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. They will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24th and 25th for Thanksgiving. They will reopen on Monday, November 28th.
John Maddox won State Representative of District 20 with 84% of the vote. His competitor, Henry Nielson garnered 16% of the vote. Maddox will serve Polk County, as well as parts of Montgomery and Sevier Counties. In Polk County, Maddox received 86% of the vote, or 6,011 votes to Nielson’s 14%.
On the Arkansas ballot, Republican John Boozman was re-elected as U.S. Senator with 60% of the vote statewide. In Polk County, Boozman took 75% of the vote with 6,049 votes cast in his favor. Republican Bruce Westerman was re-elected for U.S. Congressman with 75% of Arkansas’ vote, equaling 182,201 votes. In Polk County, he took 83% with 6,427 votes.
Issues 1, 2, and 3 passed on both the state and local ballots, overwhelmingly. Issue 6, the controversial medical marijuana Issue, was spoken on loudly with Polk County voters casting 54% of the ballots against the issue and 46% for the issue; however, it won across the state with 53% of the vote and will become a new amendment in the state. Read more about Issue 6 on page ??? of this issue.
Republic Marcus Richmond was re-elected to his position of State Representative of District 21 as an unopposed candidate.
There were several local candidates in the unopposed category for Polk County, each candidate will take office on January 1, 2017. Those candidates and their offices are:
Scott Sawyer, Sheriff
Brandon Ellison, County Judge
Jovan Thomas, Assessor
Terri Harrison, County Clerk
Tanya Fretz, County Treasurer
Michelle Heath-Schnell, Circuit Clerk
Benjamin Finley, JP District 1
Jim Neugent, JP District 2
Harold Coogan, JP District 3
Margo Kimp, JP District 4
Troy Lunsford, JP District 5
Terry Terrell, JP District 6
Tommy Floyd, JP District 7
Terry Scott, JP District 8
Basil Kesterson, JP District 9
Mitchell Tidwell, JP District 10
Tawana Gilbert, JP District 11
Andy Barron, Constable for Center Township
Gene Hendrix, Constable for Gap Springs Township
Jim Corazzo, Constable for Cove Township
Ray Hagler, Constable for Eagle Township
Doyne Turner, Constable for White/Ozark Township
Harold Coogan, Tri-Lakes Regional Water District
Brian Bowser, County Coroner
For the 2016 Election, there were a total of 12,469 registered voters in Polk County. Of registered voters in the county, a total of 8,306 cast their ballots. Record numbers of early votes were submitted totaling almost 4,500, from October 24th through November 7th.
County Clerk Terri Harrison said she and the Election Commission are pleased with how smoothly the process was this cycle and were excited to see a 67% voter turnout this election.