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HOT SPRINGS -- Early voting opens today in the Dec. 10 Republican primary for the March 3 special election to serve the remainder of the District 22 House seat's 2019-2020 term.

Voters in east Garland and north Saline counties will decide between Richard McGrew and Jack Wells to represent the Republican Party in the March 3 special election to fill the seat of Mickey Gates, who was expelled from the House in October. Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday and Monday at Community Baptist Church, 3518 Arkansas 7 North.

The election commission said early voting for Saline County electors will be the same days but from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bank OZK's 24705 Arkansas 5 branch near the east gate of Hot Springs Village.

Both candidates also filed for the 2021-2022 term, meaning next week's winner will appear twice on Republican ballots in the party's March 3 primary. The Republican Party of Arkansas said Monday that its $3,000 filing fee for House candidates was assessed for the District 22 special and general election primaries.

Next week's winner will face Hot Springs Village Libertarian Judy Bowers in the March special election. The election commission said it planned a Dec. 18 ballot draw for the special election.

Wells is listed as the owner/manager of Sew Perfect Embroidery in Jessieville on the 2018 statement of financial interest he filed for the seat he holds on the Jessieville School Board. The campaign finance report he filed for October listed $5,475 in campaign contributions, with 16 people contributing $25 or more to his campaign. Most of the contributors listed Hot Springs Village addresses.

McGrew's October report listed a $1,000 loan he made to his campaign but no other contributions. Spending or receiving $500 in any election triggers reporting requirements for campaigns, per state election laws and campaign finance rules.

The 2018 statement of financial interest McGrew filed in October listed business interests in several area rental properties, including ownership and management of Higdon Ferry Apartments and Rose Villa Senior Living Apartments. McGrew said his rental properties, including Rosecliff Apartments on Prospect Avenue, and property management company are subsidiaries of McGrew Companies.

McGrew filed his 2018 financial disclosure for the District 12 justice of the peace seat he was elected to last year. He filed it Oct. 22, missing the Jan. 31 deadline. District 12 includes the Mountain Pine area, parts of the Arkansas 7 North corridor and part of Hot Springs Village's southwest area.

State Desk on 12/03/2019

Print Headline: Early voting open for GOP hopefuls in House District 22

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