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Runoff in Rogers: Kendall, Crawford up for election to City Council on Dec. 6

by Garrett Moore | November 26, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Rachel Crawford (left) and Clay Kendall

ROGERS -- Clay Kendall and Rachel Crawford are working to get supporters to the polls one more time.

Voters will choose between the two in a runoff election for the City Council's Ward 3, Position 1 seat.

The election is Dec. 6. Early voting begins Tuesday.

Four people ran in the general election for the council seat. The runoff is required because no candidate received over 50% of the vote, or 40% of the vote with a 20% lead over second place.

Kendall, who currently serves on the council, received 131 more votes than Crawford in the Nov. 8 election, according to final, official results.

Kendall received 5,924 votes, or 38%; Crawford received 5,793 votes, or 37%; Trey Weaver received 2,127 votes, or 13%; and Vonnice Boone received 1,924, or 12%.

"When you have four people in a race, it's mathematically hard to avoid a runoff," Kendall said. "I was hoping to avoid it, but no, I'm not surprised."

Kendall said over the next few weeks he will "continue to do the job, support my constituents and make sure supporters are aware there is a runoff." Some people are unaware of Arkansas' runoff rules and have assumed the candidate with the most votes won the election outright, he said.

Kendall said he wants to maintain the positive culture at City Hall.

"I want to continue to serve. I feel like we have a very functional city government, and I think we operate efficiently," he said.

Spreading the word and getting people out to vote a second time can be a challenge, according to Crawford.

She said she is encouraged the three challengers in the general election cumulatively garnered over 60% of the vote. According to Crawford, the final count "shows that Rogers is ready for a change in representation."

"My focus areas of responsible planning for growth, area-leading support for first responders and effective communication to Rogers residents have been the foundation to my campaign and will continue to be," she said.

Both candidates have experience with Rogers city government: Kendall as a council member since 2012, Crawford as a Planning Commission member since 2018. Crawford is now the commission's chairwoman.

Ward 3 generally represents the southwest part of town, including the area west of Dixieland Road and south of New Hope Road and all areas west of Interstate 49. The Pinnacle Hills, Pleasant Crossing and Shadow Valley neighborhoods and Rogers High School are within the ward's boundaries.

Every registered voter in Rogers can vote in the runoff, even if they did not vote in the general election.

All eight council seats are elected at-large, meaning all city voters vote in all races, according to the Benton County Election Commission. Rogers has four council wards with two council members representing each ward. Council candidates must live in the ward they represent.

The City Council is nonpartisan and members serve four-year terms. The council meets publicly twice a month. Members are paid $13,416 per year, regardless of meeting attendance.

Fire Chief Tom Jenkins and former Police Chief Hayes Minor have endorsed Kendall.

The Rogers Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Crawford. Her husband, David, is president of the organization.

Position 1 seats on the City Council were up for election this year. Incumbents in two of the four Position 1 seats -- Mandy Brashear in Ward 1 and Gary Townzen in Ward 2 -- did not draw opponents while Ward 4 council member Barney Hayes won his reelection bid over Richard Labit.

Rachel Crawford

Age: 40

Residency: Rogers’ Ward 3 for eight years

Occupation: Senior national account manager for Mars Inc.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in geography - land use planning, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Political experience: Rogers Planning Commission since 2018

Clay Kendall 

Age: 47

Residency: Rogers’ Ward 3 for 17 years

Occupation: Managing partner for WealthPath Investment Advisors

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration degree in accounting, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Political experience: Rogers City Council since 2012

Print Headline: Voters to decide runoff for Rogers City Council seat

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