School Closings Today's Paper Traffic Weather Latest stories Wally Hall Weekend events Most commented Obits Newsletters Puzzles + Games
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Republican nominee Tommy Land was elected Tuesday as the state's next land commissioner, while incumbents for state auditor, treasurer and lieutenant governor held their seats.

Land vied against Democratic candidate Larry Williams of Hot Springs and Libertarian T.J. Campbell of Bentonville.

With 2,314 of 2,607 precincts reporting, unofficial returns showed:

Land 509,246

Williams 313,449

Campbell 27,881

"I appreciate the honor that the people in the state of Arkansas have given me," Land said. "We worked hard in this campaign and we will carry that same attitude into the land commissioner's office."

The position became an elected office when the state constitution was adopted in 1874, six years after the office was created by the General Assembly. Arkansas is one of just five states with an elected commissioner of state lands.

The office is primarily responsible for collecting delinquent real estate taxes that are normally paid at the county level. The land commissioner also has jurisdiction over the state's navigable waters, submerged lands and mineral leasing on state property.

Land, 63, a real estate agent from Heber Springs, said that one of his first actions in office would be to ease the movement of delinquent properties to private companies and individuals, allowing cities and counties to acquire land for parks and trails.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, 50, a Republican who has served in the role since 2015, handily won the race against Democrat Anthony Bland, 40, and Libertarian Frank Gilbert, 68.

With 2,320 out of 2,607 precincts reporting, unofficial returns were:

Griffin 547,741

Bland 284,733

Gilbert 23,686

Griffin is a former 2nd District congressman and aide to former President George W. Bush.

"I am humbled and honored to be elected by the people of Arkansas to a second term as their Lt. Governor. In my second term, I will continue to advocate for bold, conservative policies such as lower taxes for hard-working Arkansans, a smarter, leaner state government, and world-class training and education so that we can grow jobs and compete," Griffin said in an email. "I want to express my deepest gratitude to the people of Arkansas for giving me the opportunity to work for them each and every day."

The lieutenant governor -- considered a part-time position -- presides over the state Senate and can vote to break ties. If the governor dies or is impeached, removed from office or otherwise unable to serve, the lieutenant governor serves as governor.

Incumbent state Auditor Andrea Lea, a Republican, handily retained her seat against Libertarian challenger David Dinwiddie.

With 2,312 out of 2,607 precincts reporting, unofficial returns were:

Lea 597,644

Dinwiddie 230,523

"Once again I am humbled by the vote of confidence in me by the voters of this great state," Lea said in a statement. "I look forward to continued innovation of the Auditor's office and improved delivery of services to Arkansans."

The state auditor acts as the general accountant, writing the checks to pay state bills and administering payroll for the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The office conducts the Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt, which reconnects Arkansans with their unclaimed property.

Lea, 61, who lives in Russellville, served three terms in the House from 2009-15.

Dinwiddie, 54, is an auto mechanic from Pine Bluff.

Incumbent state Treasurer Dennis Milligan, 61, a Republican, raked in the votes against Libertarian Ashley Ewald, 33.

[2018 ELECTION: Full Democrat-Gazette coverage of Arkansas races]

With 2,312 out of 2,607 precincts reporting, unofficial returns were:

Milligan 587,279

Ewald 243,295

"I'd like to thank the people of Arkansas for giving me the opportunity to continue the great progress we've made these past four years," Milligan said in an email. "I look forward to bringing additional transparency to the operations of the office ensuring that all Arkansans can see exactly where their tax dollars are being invested. I look forward to maintaining the innovation and growth of the Arkansas 529-education savings plan. Finally, I am dedicated to remaining focused on growing the returns of the state's investments which hopefully will result in fewer tax dollars needed from the hard-working taxpayers of Arkansas."

The state treasurer handles an investment portfolio of more than $3.5 billion, oversees the Arkansas 529 College Investing Plan and implemented a financial education program called AR Finance AR Future, according to the office's website.

The treasurer also serves on the boards of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System.

Metro on 11/07/2018

Print Headline: Land wins land office race; 3 incumbents win new terms

Sponsor Content

Comments

You must be signed in to post comments
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT