Jonesboro City Council special election heading to wire

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 274 views 

Both Bobby Long and Dr. Richard Wang have hit the campaign trail in recent days to decide the winner of a city council seat in Jonesboro June 7.

Long and Wang were the top two finishers in a May 10 special election for the Ward 6, Position 1 seat. The seat has been left vacant since longtime council member Tim McCall resigned earlier this year after moving out of district.

Both candidates have made their points to voters in recent weeks.

“Government should get its grubby hands out of everything,” Long, a human resources manager at Cavenaugh Auto Group, said of his political philosophy.

Wang, a political science professor at Arkansas State University, said he would like to be a catalyst for getting things done in Jonesboro.

The two candidates have been criss-crossing the city since the special election to talk to voters. Even though the seat is based on wards, all registered voters in Jonesboro are eligible to vote Tuesday. During a recent forum before Craighead County Republicans, both candidates were asked their preferences in the November 8 presidential election.

“There is no way in this world I would vote for Donald Trump,” Wang said, citing Trump’s views on multiple issues.

“I will vote for anyone but Hillary,” Long said, citing Clinton’s positions.

However, both candidates agreed that infrastructure, flooding and police and fire salaries were key local issues in their campaign. As for a January 2015 study from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it would cost $100 million to alleviate flooding in the west part of Jonesboro alone, both candidates agreed.

Wang said he would support a plan to appropriate $1.5 million to help fund the issue as well as seeking grants and working with the U.S. Army of Engineers on a solution. Long said the recent rains “overloaded the system”, noting Craighead County officials should work on clearing out ditches outside Jonesboro to give the water a place to go. Also, Long said both the city and county should work on the flooding issue.

As of Thursday, 672 people voted early at the Craighead County Election Annex. Early voting continues Friday and Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the annex on Jefferson Avenue. Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.