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Smith wins NLR mayor's runoff

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published November 27, 2012 at 7:45 p.m. Updated November 27, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.

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Joe Smith takes a call. Smith was conceded the run-off by opponent Tracy Steele on Tuesday night.

Smith wins NLR mayoral runoff

Joe Smith becomes the first new mayor in North Little Rock in nearly a quarter-century after winning Tuesday's runoff against Tracy Steele. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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— Joe Smith has won the runoff election for North Little Rock mayor, becoming the city's first new leader in 24 years.

At an enthusiastic watch party at Smith's Park Hill headquarters, the mayor-elect thanked supporters for helping him beat opponent Tracy Steele. Unofficial results had Smith winning nearly 55 percent of the vote.

(CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS OF RUNOFF ELECTION RESULTS)

"We've had so many wonderful volunteers," Smith said, taking a break from meeting with supporters. "I want to try my best tonight to hug every one of them and thank them so much."

Steele conceded shortly after 8:30 p.m., thanking a large crowd of his supporters that gathered at a watch party at the Wyndham Hotel in downtown North Little Rock.

"We'll be alright," he told them. "This is the close of this chapter. But there will be another chapter."

Smith, North Little Rock's longtime commerce and governmental relations director, asked voters to support him because of his experience working closely with Mayor Patrick Hays and his projects.

Steele is a term-limited state representative and the executive director of the STAND Foundation in North Little Rock.

Hays decided not to seek another reelection after six terms in the office.

Steele received the most votes in the Nov. 6 general election but not enough to win the office outright.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 total comments

FlyingRooster says... November 27, 2012 at 9:23 p.m.

Joe Smith will make a great Mayor. Congrats to the citizens of North Little Rock who woke up and made the effort to elect a very fine man to lead one of the best towns in Arkansas.

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StrayGoose says... November 27, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.

I really didn't care about the NLR election, but it warms my heart to see another Clintonite bite the dust.

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TheBatt says... November 27, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.

So NLR voters supposedly elected a corrupt, back-door, buddy system, good-old-boy man for the job... Where in the world did those votes come from? Steele had so much support in the general election- only missing dodging a runoff by a very small percentage...

This just makes no sense.

North Little Rock- the Chicago of the South

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DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN says... November 27, 2012 at 11:07 p.m.

Steele just needed a new job since he is term limited. Thank goodness for term limits.

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MenLR2 says... November 27, 2012 at 11:34 p.m.

Good Job Voters of NLR ....... No need for the Dog Town signs!

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