Who won, lost on elec­tion night? Did state OK casi­nos?

The Weekly Vista - - Opinion - MAYLON RICE

Well, here I am on Nov. 7 try­ing to re-fore­cast what hap­pened on Nov. 6.

The prob­lem is that this col­umn, for the stated dead­lines of my ed­i­tor, be writ­ten Oct. 29, a full week and one day prior to the No­vem­ber Gen­eral Elec­tion.

And so it is with col­umn writ­ers of all things po­lit­i­cal.

Of­ten the dead­lines whip us as hard as the vot­ers whipped some can­di­dates last night.

In an ef­fort to tell the fu­ture, from the past, here is my sum­ma­tion of last night’s elec­tion re­sults.

There were more vot­ers in this year’s Mid-Term Elec­tions than the last Mid-Term Elec­tions four years ago. How­ever, the vote to­tals did not reach the vote to­tals of two years ago when the Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion filled the Ar­kan­sas bal­lots.

Gov. Asa Hutchin­son won go­ing away, but ac­tu­ally polled fewer votes than he did two years ago (and he won big then). There were just sim­ply not enough peo­ple vot­ing for him in this three-way race with a young Demo­cratic op­po­nent and a Lib­er­tar­ian can­di­date.

The state-wide races, with the ex­cep­tion of one race — that of Ar­kan­sas At­tor­ney Gen­eral — were won by Repub­li­can can­di­dates as they held sway even with a “soft” field of named can­di­dates that were unifil­iar to the ears of most Arkansans.

In the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s race, Mike Lee, the Demo­cratic chal­lenger to Leslie Rut­ledge, the cur­rent At­tor­ney Gen­eral, lost that nar­row race. He fell to two ma­jor chal­lenges from Rut­ledge; first her ap­par­ent close­ness to the cur­rent Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and Rut­ledge be­came a mom for the first time this past year. This en­abled her to re­peat her of­ten said mantra of be­ing a “con­ser­va­tive, gun­tot­ing, Chris­tian …” adding the word “Momma,” to the mix.

Demo­crat chal­lengers for Ar­kan­sas Sec­re­tary of State, Land Com­mis­sioner and the other statewide con­sti­tu­tional races were crushed by the same red wave of vot­ers that elected Hutchin­son, Rut­ledge and Lt. Gov. Tim Grif­fen, who posted the widest mar­gin over the chal­lengers of any other can­di­date, I pre­dict.

In the state’s four Con­gres­sional races, only the 2nd District of Lit­tle Rock and the four coun­ties sur­round­ing Pu­laski County, was in play. Con­gress­men Steve Wo­mack of Rogers (3rd District), Bruce Wester­man of Hot Springs (4th District) and Rick Craw­ford of Jones­boro (1st District) re­turned to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., with com­fort­able mar­gins of vic­tory.

Lo­cally, some of the State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive races were closer than usual, but still, out­side of one or two par­tic­u­lar dis­tricts in North­west Ar­kan­sas, the in­cum­bents all re­turned to Lit­tle Rock.

An odd­ity in the race for State House District 80 was the race where in­cum­bent Rep. Char­lene Fite of Van Buren, had to fend off two chal­lengers, Lou Reep Sharp of Fayet­teville, a Demo­crat and for­mer Prairie Grove City Coun­cil­man, and now a Lib­er­tar­ian can­di­date, Casey Copeland. This race, with no runoff re­quired by statute, may have been closer than first ex­pected, de­pend­ing upon the get out the vote cam­paigns of all three can­di­dates.

Did state Rep. Char­lie Collins, a Repub­li­can from Fayet­teville, seek­ing re-elec­tion in House District 84, get re-elected? Prob­a­bly so. He was given a stiff chal­lenge over his gun carry leg­is­la­tion, but sadly that par­tic­u­lar is­sue did not stick in the ur­ban and ru­ral mix of that district. Denise Garner of Fayet­teville ran a hard race, Collins no doubt out­spent her, and that made the fi­nal re­sult.

A close race may have de­vel­oped in the House District 87 race as a new Demo­cratic chal­lenger, Kelly Scott Unger, tried to un­seat Rep. Robin

Lund­strum of Elm Springs. The district which stretches from the Ok­la­homa line, in­cludes Siloam Springs, Elm Springs, Ton­ti­town and por­tions of Western Spring­dale.

Lund­strum ran a well-man­aged cam­paign stick­ing to the is­sues and fought off the blue-wave Democrats had hoped for.

On the is­sues on the bal­lot, I am hop­ing that Arkansans voted two of them down — even the min­i­mum wage raises — as the state may not be in the po­si­tion to do so ac­cord­ing to the state’s bal­anced bud­get. The casino is­sue (No. 4) tried to hide the fact it was for casino gam­bling at the end and say it was for eco­nomic growth — I hope Ar­kan­sas didn’t take that bait on the hook.

And af­ter all the vot­ing, I hope the present your ID card to vote, won out. But heck it is a week away from the ac­tual re­sults be­ing known.

Hope I got most of this cor­rect but, if not, I’ll re­visit it in print next week. Pol­i­tics, you see, never goes out of style or print, no mat­ter what day is on the cal­en­dar.

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