Reps. Boyd, Richardson win legislative races to represent Fort Smith metro

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 546 views 

Rep. Justin Boyd will end his fourth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives by moving to the other end of the Capitol to represent much of Fort Smith as a state senator. Also, Rep. Jay Richardson, D-Fort Smith, will return to the Arkansas House for a third term.

Following are the vote percentages in the early numbers for the five competitive legislative races in the Fort Smith metro.

Senate District 26
Gabriel Andreucetti – L: 16.5%
Sen. Gary Stubblefield – R (incumbent): 83.4%

Senate District 27
Rep. Justin Boyd – R: 62.6%
Rebecca Ward – D: 37.3%

House District 49
Max Avery – R: 40.8%
Rep. Jay Richardson – D (incumbent): 59.1%

House District 50
Stephen Edwards – L: 3.6%
Zack Gramlich – R: 62%
Diane Osborne – D: 33.7%

House District 52
John Wayne Catlett – I: 16%
Rep. Marcus Richmond – R (incumbent): 84%

Rep. Justin Boyd, R-Fort Smith

“I want to say thank you to all the voters in Fort Smith and Barling who came out and supported me. I very much appreciate the support and I look forward to January 1 when I will hit the ground running to represent District 27,” Boyd said Tuesday night.

A legislative priority he says will impact his constituents is changing a few tax codes that now negatively impact some people he has heard from in the district. He also said teacher pay and tax cuts will likely be part of the upcoming legislative session.

“Teacher pay will be an important discussion, and I look forward to hearing from all sides on that. I’m confident that we will raise teacher pay,” he said.

Richardson said he’s happy voters gave him another term.

“I’m just super excited to get back to work in the House of Representatives. I’m super thankful that the people of District 49 came out and supported me, and I’m going to do my best to make them proud,” Richardson said.

Rep. Jay Richardson, D-Fort Smith

He said he plans to continue ongoing work to address the fentanyl problem, and mental health issues around drug addiction.

“I think people on both sides of the aisle agree that this is a problem, and I’m confident we’ll get some legislation to address that,” Richardson said.

The other Arkansas Senate members representing the Fort Smith metro are Sen. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, and Jim Petty, a Republican from Van Buren who had no opposition in the general election. Senator-elect Petty’s district includes parts of Crawford and Washington counties.

In addition to Richardson, Richmond and Gramlich, Arkansas House members representing all or parts of the Fort Smith metro are Rep. Cindy Crawford, R-Fort Smith; Rep. Jon Eubanks, R-Paris; Rep. Charlene Fite, R-Alma; Rep. Lee Johnson, R-Greenwood; and Rep.-elect Chad Puryear, R-Hindsville. Puryear on Tuesday defeated Democrat Caitlin Oxford.

The 2023 Arkansas General Assembly begins Jan. 9.

Talk Business & Politics will update the vote totals throughout the night.