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City council races will be the focus of municipal elections in area’s four largest cities

by Tracy Neal | August 1, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
"I Voted" stickers for early voters Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.

City council races will be the focus of municipal elections in Northwest Arkansas' four largest cities.

None of the mayoral positions are up for election, but city council races will be on the ballot in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale. Four seats on each of the councils are up for election.

The candidate filing period begins at noon Wednesday and ends at noon Aug. 10.

Candidates will be on the ballot during the general election Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 24.

Becky Lewallen, Washington County's court clerk, said candidates can file in the main office from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Benton County candidates may file 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at one of three locations: 215 E. Central Ave., Bentonville; 2111 W. Walnut, Rogers; and 707 S. Lincoln, Siloam Springs.

Any qualified person wishing to run for a municipal office must file a nominating petition, affidavit of eligibility, petition affidavit and political practice pledge with the county clerk by the Aug. 10 deadline.

City council candidates must be be registered voters and live within the ward of the position they are seeking.

For a city of the first class, the petition must contain signatures from at least 30 qualified electors of the city in which the candidate files; for a city of the second class or an incorporated town, the petition must contain signatures from at least 10 qualified electors of the candidate's city.

By Arkansas Code, any city with more than 2,500 residents can be a city of the first class and any city with more than 5,000 must be.

Peter Masonis, a spokesman for the city of Rogers, said four council positions are up for election as well as the city attorney's job.

Positions on the ballot will be Mandy Brashear's Ward 1, Position 1; Gary Townzen's Ward 2, Position 1; Clay Kendall's Ward 3, Position 1; and Barney Hayes' Ward 4, Position 1. Andrew Hatfield is the city attorney.

Kara Paxton, Fayetteville's city clerk, said the city attorney and the four position 1 council positions are on the ballot. Fayetteville's position 1 council members are Sonia Harvey, Mark Kinion, Sloan Scroggin and Teresa Turk. Kit Williams is the city attorney for Fayetteville.

"It's a staggering schedule so in two years, that's when the the mayor and me along with the position 2 council members" are up for election, Paxton said.

Position 1 council members in Bentonville are up for election as well; the incumbents include Tim Robinson, Cindy Acree, Aubrey Patterson and Octavio Sanchez. Debbie Griffin, a spokeswoman for the city of Bentonville, said the city attorney position is not on the November ballot.

Denise Pearce, Springdale's city clerk, said the city attorney and position 1 council posts are on the November ballot. Position 1 council members in Springdale are Mike Lawson, Mike Overton, Brian Powell and Amelia Williams. Ernest Cate is Springdale's city attorney.

Smaller cities in Northwest Arkansas will have mayoral and city council races.

There are also education-related elections in the region.

All nine positions on Northwest Arkansas Community College's Board of Trustees are up for election this November. Each board member represents a zone in the college's taxing district, which consists of the Bentonville and Rogers school districts. The zones were redrawn last fall based on population shifts demonstrated in the 2020 census, according to Grant Hodges, executive director of community and government relations.

The Bentonville School District also is holding its elections for School Board. This fall, five of the board's seven positions are up for election. The people who currently hold those positions include Brent Leas, Jennifer Faddis, Matt Burgess, Eric White and Mike Swanson.

Bentonville is the only Northwest Arkansas school district holding its board elections in November. Other districts did their elections in May.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 10.

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Registered voters

Registered voters by county:

Benton County: 177,418

Washington County: 140,354

Source: Benton and Washington county election officials


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