Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin said Thursday (Sept. 20) he has officially endorsed the person he hopes will succeed him as the city’s next mayor.
In a statement provided to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, McCaslin, who announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election, said he is supporting Stephanie Orman to become the city’s next mayor.
Orman, director of social media and community involvement for McLarty Daniel Automotive Group in Bentonville, has been a Bentonville City Council member since January 2015. Other candidates seeking the office are:
- Terry Shannon, a retired real estate professional and Texas native;
- John Skaggs, a retired municipal and district judge who served two terms on the City Council;
- Charlie Turner, owner of Charlie’s Barber Shop in Bentonville
- Jim Webb, a former City Council member who works for an outdoor toy company supplier.
McCaslin’s statement is as follows:
“I have enjoyed serving as Bentonville’s mayor since January 2007. I have been and remain committed to conservative values directed by professionalism and integrity as I and staff serve the citizens and businesses of our city. The 2018 election for mayor will see five individuals on the ballot. I decided more than one year ago that I would not seek a fourth term.
“I have a strong interest in Bentonville’s future and I have strong feelings regarding who will lead our city for the next four years.
“Stephanie Orman has served as a Bentonville City Council member since January 2015. She has a 100% attendance record at City Council meetings and a rich history of service to our community. Stephanie is a conservative Christian wife, mother, businesswoman and nonprofit president. Additionally, Stephanie has a master’s degree and works full time.
“I endorse and support Stephanie Orman in her bid to serve as mayor of Bentonville. I further encourage all who want the best for our city to give strong consideration to join with me in helping elect Stephanie Orman as Bentonville’s next mayor.”
Orman, who has lived with her family in Bentonville since 2004, said she was appreciative of McCaslin’s endorsement. She said through her work on the City Council and with other business and nonprofit endeavors, people know her as someone who will “get their hands dirty” to address issues.
“I enjoy listening to the public and solving problems,” she said. “I think the mayor appreciates my dedication to the city council and that I will work hard for the citizens of Bentonville.”
McCaslin, a former Kraft Foods executive who retired in 2002, served two terms as a City Council member before being elected mayor in November 2006. McCaslin’s predecessor, Terry Coberly, also served 12 years as the city’s mayor.
Even as Bentonville’s top elected official has remained largely unchanged the past two decades, the city’s population has grown by leaps and bounds. No city in the state is growing faster. According to the latest U.S. Census data the town’s population grew from 20,169 in 2000 to 49,298 in 2017, a 144% increase.
In response to a question from the Business Journal, Graham Cobb, CEO of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the organization has no plans to endorse a particular candidate in the mayoral race.
The Bentonville Rotary Club has invited the five mayoral candidates to a public forum at its regular meeting at noon Oct. 24.
The mayor’s annual salary in Bentonville is $132,954. The nonpartisan election will be Nov. 6.