A longtime state legislator in Benton County has lost her primary bid for re-election.
State Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Rogers, was beaten by challenger Kendon Underwood of Cave Springs in a Republican primary runoff election Tuesday (March 31). Della Rosa was seeking a fourth term representing Arkansas House District 90, which encompasses south-central Benton County and includes portions of Rogers, Bethel Heights, Cave Springs, Lowell and Springdale.
With all 43 precincts counted, Underwood won Tuesday’s runoff 1,006-823 (55%-45%).
On March 3, Della Rosa received 1,503 votes, or 43.3% of the vote, while Underwood received 1,249 votes, or 36% of the vote. In Arkansas, a runoff is required by state law if no candidate receives a 50% majority of the vote. The two candidates with the most votes advance to a runoff. The third candidate in the March 3 race, Chris Latimer, received 722 votes, or 20.8% of the vote.
In the 2018 primary, Della Rosa defeated Underwood by just three votes. Underwood will face Democrat Kelly Krout of Lowell in the Nov. 3 general election. Krout issued the following statement Tuesday night:
“Congratulations to Mr. Underwood. I look forward to running a campaign based on ideas and issues. The public health crisis we are all experiencing is certainly going to alter what the campaign will look like. COVID-19 is exposing that many aspects of life aren’t working well for many Arkansans. Leadership and representation matter so much during this difficult time. I am committed to spending the next 8 months serving my community, prioritizing health and safety.”
In another Republican primary runoff Tuesday for a seat representing House District 91, Delia Haak of Gentry defeated Scott Richardson of Bentonville 577-491 (54%-46%). They advanced to the runoff from a three-person primary March 3 that also included Jorge Becker of Gravette. In that race, Richardson tallied 1,530 votes to Haak’s 1,150 and Becker’s 763.
Haak will face Democratic candidate Nick Jones of Centerton in November. The winner will replace incumbent Republican officeholder Dan Douglas of Bentonville, who has represented the district since January 2013. Douglas did not seek re-election.
Arkansas House District 91 includes parts of Rogers, Cave Springs, Centerton, Highfill, Springtown, Gentry and Siloam Springs.
Arkansas House members serve two-year terms.