It is not often that you have a special election on the same day as an inauguration. But in Senate District 16, which includes Russellville, three Republican candidates squared of in a primary to fill the vacancy created when Michael Lamoureux resigned to serve as the chief of staff to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. As many Republicans gathered for the inaugural ball in Little Rock, county election commissions in 5 counties were busy counting votes.
When the dust cleared, Insurance agent Greg Standridge of Russellville came out on top. In the unofficial results, it appears he will face a runoff with just under the 50 percent required to do so with 2,123 of the vote or 47.84%.
“I want to thank my supporters. We are excited to have gotten the most votes,” said Standridge. “We are very proud of tonight’s results and are looking forward to starting again tomorrow to prepare for the February 10th runoff.”
Former State Rep. Stan Berry finished just behind him with 1,825 or 41.12%, so he will challenge Standridge in a runoff election on February 10.
Democrat-turned-Republican Thomas Akin finished a distant third with 490 or 11.04%.
Since no Democrats or independent candidates filed for the office, the winner of the runoff will be the next Senator for District 16.
Unfortunately, he likely will not be able to take office in time for the legislative session which began yesterday as the general election is officially set for April 14. By then, the session should be over unless it really goes long.