Editor’s note: Story by Ben Pollock, special to Talk Business & Politics.
Northwest Arkansas voters Tuesday were decisive in county party primary races noted for very high turnouts. Results were complete but unofficial.
In perhaps the most watched race, for Benton County sheriff, incumbent Kelley Cradduck was defeated, having faced three opponents in the Republican primary, top among them sheriff’s office Maj. Shawn Holloway. Holloway will face Paul Pillaro of the Lowell police in a runoff on March 22. The other candidate was Timothy Filbeck of the Siloam Springs Police Department.
Timothy Filbeck: 3,053, 8.9%
Paul Pillaro: 8,280, 21.1%
Sheriff Kelley Cradduck: 8,051, 20.5%
Shawn Holloway: 19,049, 49.5%
On Feb. 1, Cradduck, 45, was charged with felony tampering with a public record and misdemeanor tampering. He pleaded not guilty to both counts in a Feb. 22 circuit court appearance. The Rogers resident was arrested Jan. 19. A special prosecutor filed the charges. The counts stem from the falsifying of a payroll form last fall for a new jail worker, backdating it nine days, purportedly to pay the man for hours he did not work. Cradduck was running for a third two-year term.
The Republican winner will face independent Glenn Latham in the Nov. 8 general election.
In Washington County, Fayetteville Alderman Mark Kinion defeated Joshua Mahony for the Democratic nomination for county judge, replacing the outgoing Marilyn Edwards.
Joshua Mahony: 6,859, 46.6%
Alderman Mark Kinion: 7,874, 53.4%
Mahony is president of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and chair of the Ozark Literacy Council and of the Fayetteville Airport Board, according to his campaign website. Kinion represents Ward 2, Position 1, on the Fayetteville City Council and is a loan officer at the Bank of Arkansas, according to his Facebook page.
Kinnion will face Republican state Rep. Micah Neal, R-Springdale, in the general election Nov. 8. Neal was unchallenged Tuesday.
Early voting was strong in Benton and Washington counties. Washington County ballots cast before Tuesday numbered 12,415, with 6,664 (53.7%) in the GOP primary, 5,717 (46%) in the Democratic, and 34 (0.3%) voting on the nonpartisan ballot. The nonpartisan ballot only had judicial races, whose candidates have no declared party. The total number of registered voters is 120,081 so early voters comprised 10.3%.
In Benton County, which has 131,545 residents registered, 20,169 voters took turns at the polls before Tuesday, or 15.3%. Of the 20,169, 16,304 (80.8%) took part in the GOP primary, 3,755 (18.6%) Democratic and 110 (0.6%) nonpartisan.
In Benton County, 53,363 voted or 40.6% of all registered, including early ballots. Of them 42,626 (79.9%) voted in the Republican primary, 10,505 Democratic (19.7%) and 232 nonpartisan (0.4%).
In Washington County, 47,056 voted, 39.2% of all registered, including early voting. Of those 29,024 (61.7%) chose the Republican set of candidates, 17,831 Democratic (37.9%) and 201 nonpartisan (0.4%).
Incumbent Benton County Judge Bob Clinard lost in his bid for a fourth two-year term. Justice of the Peace Barry Moehring won that GOP primary.
Justice of the Peace Barry Moehring: 20,064, 52%
Judge Bob Clinard: 18,500, 48%
Clinard first took the county executive office in 2011. Opposing Moehring in the November general election will be Libertarian candidate Ronnie Smith of Garfield.
The Washington County collector job was contested in its Republican primary. Candidates Angela Wood and Teresa Soares are employees in the collector’s office. Wood handily won the race. Tuesday’s winner faces no opposition in November.
Angela Wood: 18,329, 74%
Teresa Soares: 6,456, 26%
The nonpartisan race for Washington County Division 2, District 2, judge, saw incumbent Graham Nations defeat Casey Copeland.
Casey Copeland: 16,361, 42.5%
Judge Graham H. Nations: 22,108, 57.5%
The Benton County District 1, Division 2, incumbent Judge Paul Bridges was defeated by Chris Griffin.
Chris Griffin: 23,643, 52.3%
Judge Paul Bridges: 21,539, 47.7%