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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Arkansas Primary election determines fall races

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seth Jones hugs his wife, Denise, after looking at final primary election results, which showed him the winner of the Democratic nomination for Fulton County Treasurer. Jones, a Sheriff's Deputy making his first run for office, defeated Mammoth Spring Police Officer Jamie Turnbough. Jones will face Cherokee Village Republican Kristina Henkels in the fall election. Photo by Richard Irby [Order this photo]
The May 22 Primary Election set the ballot for the fall election in Fulton County -- except for the name of the Democrat who will challenge First District Congressman Rick Crawford, a Republican.

While prosecutor Scott Ellington won a three man race for the Democratic nomination, he failed to get 50 percent plus one vote. That means a June 12 runoff election will be held in the First District, which includes Fulton and Izard Counties.

Fulton County Offices

"It was a long day," is how Salem precinct poll worker Keith McHenry described the job of waiting all day for voters who trickled in.

State election officials had predicted a low voter turnout of 25 to 30 percent, since the presidential candidates are set for the fall election, and there were not major statewide races on the ballot.

In Fulton County, there was a 25 percent turnout of registered voters.

"We had about 150 voters, while we usually get about 400 in a primary," McHenry of his precinct.

Despite the lack of interest, those who did vote decided four Democratic primary races in the county.

Fulton County Deputy Sheriff Seth Jones and Mammoth Spring Police Officer Jamie Turnbough both campaigned hard for the nomination to run for County Treasurer, a position being vacated by Donna Hall.

The final tally showed 748 votes for Jones and 601 votes for Turnbough.

The two candidates shook hands in the courthouse hallway when final results were in, and Jones smiled and hugged his wife, Denise. As supporters offered congratulations, Jones said, "I'm not going to celebrate too much, because I've got to run again this fall."

Jones will be on the ballot against Cherokee Village Republican Kristina Henkels, who did not have an opponent in the primary.

In the Democratic primary for Constable, Lynn "Arles" Linderman defeated David Rothgeb by a 848 to 322 margin.

Linderman will face Boyd Dailey, who is running as an Independent in the fall election.

In Justice of the Peace District 3, Burton Yarnell won the Democratic nomination over Ray Matthew. Yarnell received 89 votes, compared to Matthew's 43 votes.

"I drove 450 miles in the district, over the last 10 1/2 weeks, and had two flat tires on back roads," Yarnell said, describing his campaign adventures. "I am thankful to all who supported me."

Yarnell, who is a Salem School Board member, will face Republican Robert Windsor in the November election.

The Justice of the Peace District 5 race was the closest of the election.

Johnny Moody defeated Dr. Guy Smith by just 12 votes -- 109 votes for Moody and 97 for Smith.

Since no Republican filed seeking nomination for the District 5 seat, Moody will take office in January. Current District 5 JP Michael Roork did not seek reelection.

National and State Offices

Fulton County Democratic voters chose an obscure Tennessee attorney, John Wolfe, over President Barack Obama in the primary vote. Wolfe received 662 votes to Obama's 508.

In the Republican Presidential Primary, Fulton County residents favored Mitt Romney by a large margin. Romney received 185 votes, Ron Paul 41 votes, Rick Santorum 27 votes and Newt Gingrich 25 votes.

In the vote for Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice, Position Four, Jo Hart of Mountain View defeated Raymond Abramson by a wide margin: 1,154 to 277. Hart carried the statewide vote and was elected to the seat.

In the vote for Court of Appeals Judge, District 2 Position 2, Fulton County residents favored Rhonda Wood over Mitch Cash, and Wood carried the statewide vote, as well.

First Congressional District

In the Democratic race for the nomination for the First Congressional District, Fulton County residents favored Scott Ellington, who received 519 votes, over Clark M. Hall, who received 463 votes. Gary Latanich was third with 122 votes.

Ellington fell just a few hundred votes shy of winning the nomination, so he will square off against Hall in the June 12 runoff election. There will also be a runoff for the Democratic nomination in the Fourth Congressional District.

Ellington is a prosecutor who worked to negotiate the deal which freed the West Memphis Three, who spent decades in prison for the murder of three Cub Scouts.

Hall is a state senator from Marvell, who had the support of top Democrats in the primary.

One political sign promoting Ellington's campaign was spotted in Salem, but none of the three Democratic candidates visited Fulton County before the primary.

According to County Clerk Vickie Bishop, the state paid primary election costs, and will also cover runoff expenses. While she had hoped to use paper ballots and fewer voting locations, Bishop was told electronic machines and all precincts must be used for the runoff, which is likely to have an even smaller turnout than the primary.

The county will be responsible for expenses for the fall election.

Izard County Offices

In Izard County, incumbent Sheriff Tate Lawrence withstood a challenge in the Democratic Primary, defeating John Allen Engelhardt by 437 vote margin -- 887 votes for Lawrence to 450 votes for Engelhardt.

In Justice of the Peace District One, incumbent Justin Sanders received 73 votes, to 57 votes for challenger Charles Townsend.

In Justice of the Peace District Two, Thomas Rushing won the Democratic nomination, defeating Bobby Russell 56 to 42.

In the New Hope JP District, Bobby Greenhaw defeated Carlene (Charlie) Hill 37 to 30.

Izard County Democrats chose John Wolfe over President Obama in the Presidential Primary. The vote was 747 for Wolfe and 463 for Obama.

In the Republican Primary, Terry Williams won the right to challenge Sheriff Lawrence in November. Williams defeated Kelly Anderson by a vote of 261 to190.

In the Republican Presidential Primary, Mitt Romney won with 354 votes. Ron Paul received 85 votes, Rick Santorum 40 votes and Newt Gingrich 20 votes.

In Izard county, 1,887 votes were cast, a turnout of 24 percent.

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