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Faulkner County Democrat certified as winner of House District 56 seat

Democrat wins House seat by Neal Earley | November 22, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
State Rep. Steve Magie, D-Conway, represents Arkansas' House District 56.(courtesy photo)

State Rep. Steve Magie has been reelected to a sixth term after Faulkner County election officials certified the results of the House District 56 race Monday.

Magie, a Democrat running for the newly drawn state House District 56 seat in Conway, narrowly defeated Republican challenger Trent Minner. Libertarian candidate Howard Heffington finished in a distant third place.

With 100% of results reported, official results are:

Steve Magie4,052

Trent Minner4,042

Howard Heffington273

Magie held only a four-vote lead over Minner with about 23 uncounted provisional ballots remaining on election night. After officials counted cured provisional ballots, Magie's lead stretched to 10 votes.

Minner requested a recount that began Friday and continued into Saturday evening. The recount did not change the result, which led Minner to issue a statement conceding the race.

"While the results of the recount did not change the outcome of the race, the transparency and speed with which they accomplished the recount leaves nothing to be desired," Minner said in a statement. "We are fortunate in Faulkner County to have such professionalism and integrity in our elections."

Magie, 69, had to overcome running in a newly drawn district that became more competitive. The newly drawn district includes most of downtown Conway, stretching from Rooster Road in the east to Cadron Creek in the west. The district includes Hendrix College, Conway High School and parts of Faulkner Country and Lake Beaverfork.

But Magie, a retina surgeon, ran a campaign as a centrist Democrat, pitching voters on his support for low taxes and for public schools. He was one of the few Democrats who voted to accelerate a $500 million tax cut during the special session in August.

Minner, 30, is a lawyer from Conway who worked in the Arkansas attorney general's public protection department and campaigned on being a fresh face for the district. Minner said he supported more school choice and lower taxes.

Before running for office, he ran U.S. Rep. French Hill's 2020 reelection campaign and worked for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, advising on policy issues.

The closeness of the race led to House Speaker Matthew Shepherd postponing a meeting last week to determine committee assignments for members.

Print Headline: District 56 race results certified


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