Novem­ber elec­tions at the lo­cal level: what to ex­pect

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Hunter McFer­rin Staff Writer hm­c­fer­rin@nwadg.com ■

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

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

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

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

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.

Dis­trict 87

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

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