Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan will serve a fourth term as the top executive for the third-largest city in Arkansas after he received 24,346 votes or 67.6% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.
In the Tuesday (Nov. 3) general election, Jordan defeated three other candidates vying for mayor: Tom Terminella, William Harris and Ron Baucom. Terminella, Harris and Baucom received 8,973, 1,967 and 721 votes or 24.9%, 5.5% and 2% of the vote, respectively. Terminella and Baucom both unsuccessfully ran against Jordan in 2016, and Harris unsuccessfully ran for constable in Washington County the same year.
“I love this city, and I love the people of this city,” Jordan said. “I love serving. I’ve served people all my life, and the people have shown that they want me to continue to serve. And it’s very gratifying and yet very humbling all at the same time.”
Jordan thought the vote would have been closer having three opponents as opposed to two in 2016.
“That’s a little bit of a challenge when you’re an incumbent, and you’re facing three folks. And it doesn’t end in a runoff. You’re very fortunate,” he said. “And then pull 67% out of four folks. That’s pretty good.”
He also was happy with the voter turnout, with about 35,000 votes in the race.
Terminella has lived in Fayetteville since 1970 when his family relocated to the area for his father’s job with Tyson Foods. He graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1985 and started a real estate career. The Fayetteville businessman and real estate broker was recently named in a lawsuit that alleges he’s shielding his assets to hinder, delay and defraud a creditor.
Jordan, who was first elected mayor in 2008, was born Oct. 13, 1953, in Fayetteville. Before he was elected mayor, Jordan worked 27 years for the University of Arkansas and was zone supervisor for the facilities management department.
In January 2018, the city of Fayetteville became the first city in the state to commit to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy. The city’s Energy Action Plan shows it will become powered by 100% clean energy by 2050, and all government operations would be powered with 100% clean energy by 2030. In summer 2019, the city’s renewable energy consumption from city operations went from 16% to 72% after completing a 10-megawatt solar power plant.
In April 2019, Fayetteville voters approved a $226.07 million bond issue to complete several projects, including $73.93 million in street work, a $36.97 million police headquarters and a $31.69 million Cultural Arts Corridor. The bond issue will be paid for with an existing 1-cent sales tax, which will be extended as a result of the vote. The bond issue was projected to be paid off in 12 to 16 years.
Jordan’s fourth four-year term starts in January. His goals are to keep the city safe and to properly manage the taxpayer’s money. He will work to help the city get through the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged people to wear masks until a vaccine becomes available.
“We’ll get through it together, and we’ll make it,” he said. “We’re a very resilient city.”