November elections at the local level: what to expect
With the 2018 midterm elections just over two months away, residents of Siloam Springs will vote on three city board seats and the area’s state representative.
The government of Siloam Springs consists of a city administrator and a city board of directors, which is comprised of seven members. Three of whom represent the entire city, while the remaining four represent one of the city’s four wards. While three seats are open, the board is certain to have at least two new members, as the sitting directors of two wards decided not to run for re-election.
Another item on November’s ballot will be the election for the state representative for Arkansas’ district 87, which encompasses a portion of Benton and Washington County. A smaller portion of Siloam Springs is part of district 91, but the incumbent for that district, Dan Douglas (R-District 91), is running uncontested. Listed below are brief summaries of who will be on the ballot for each ward as well as district 87.
Ward 1 represents the northwest region of the city and its sitting director is Steve Beers. Beers decided not to run for reelection, prompting three candidates — Mindy Hunt, David Allen and Fares Trinidad — to file for the Ward 1 seat. Due to city regulations, a primary was held on Aug. 14 to reduce this number to two candidates. The winners of the primary were Hunt and Allen, who received 44 and 33 percent of the vote, respectively.
Ward 2 encompasses the northeastern region of the city and its sitting director is Brad Burns. Burns’ position was uncontested and he plans to remain in the position.
Ward 3 includes the southeastern region of the city and its sitting director is Frank Johnson. Johnson is finishing his first term in the position and prior to serving on the board of directors, he was a commissioner on the city’s planning and zoning commission, according to a Jan. 2015 report from the Herald-Leader. Johnson will run against Marla Sappington, who is the operations manager for The Manna Center, a local nonprofit that works to provide food and resources to those in need.
Ward 4 comprises the southwestern region and its sitting director is Amy Smith. Like Beers, Smith opted not to run for re-election, and two candidates — Lesa Brosch and Morgan Scholz — filed to run in hopes of replacing her.
This legislative district includes a portion of western Benton County as well as some of Washington County, and represents the cities of Elm Springs, Tontitown and Siloam Springs. Running for the seat is Democratic candidate Kelly Unger, who will face the incumbent, Robin Lundstrum (R-District 87). Lundstrum, who began her position in the state legislature in 2015, is finishing up her second term.
City board members serve four-year terms and state house representatives serve two. Voting will take place on Nov. 6, and for Benton County residents who would like more information on where to vote, how to get registered, other issues that will be on the ballot and more, visit vote.bentoncountyar.gov. For more information about Lundstrum, visit lundstrum4arkansas.com. To learn more about Unger, visit kellyscottunger.com