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Shift in Parties?


March 8, 2012 by Matthew Jones

In Arkansas politics, one could just assume that the democrats would win out. That they would be the majority in power in both chambers in Little Rock. That could all change in 2012. Filing has closed and the list of official candidates are in.

There are 7 districts for the House of Representatives in Washington County, 87-89, 92-94 and 97.  In districts 87, 92, 93, and 94, there are only Republicans either running unopposed or against other Republicans. In 88 and 89 there is one Democrat facing one Republican while in 97 there are two Republicans facing off against one Democrat.

In 87, Rep. Jonathan Barnett, 57,  of Siloam Springs,  who is a  general contractor, runs unopposed.

In 88, Randy Alexander (R),  of Springdale,  who is a businessman will run against Edwin Sugg (D), 52, also of Springdale, who is an engineer.

In 89, Micah S. Neal (R) of Springdale will run against Inez Yesenia Hernandez (D), 35, also of Springdale, who is a safety manager.

In 92, Jim Parsons (R) of Bella Vista will face Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard (R), 68, of Gravette, who is a retired Benton County Clerk. There is no Democratic challenger.

In 93, Jim Dotson (R) of Bentonville will face Duane Neal (R) , 78, also of Bentonville, who is retired. There is no Democratic challeneger.

In 94, Rep. Debra M. Hobbs (R), 56, of Rogers, who is a small business owner, will run unopposed.

In 97, Jeremy Miller (R) of Huntsville will face 38 year old attorney, Bob Ballinger (R) of Hindsville to determine who will face Robert “Butch” Berry (D), 62, of Eureka Springs, who is an architect, in the general election.

There are five Senate Districts that contain some portion of Washington County, however small as in the case of district 1. They are districts 1,2,4,5, and 7. In districts 1,2, and 5, there are only Republicans filed to run. In district 7, there are two Republicans, including Sen. Pritchard, whose old district 35 changed after the 2010 census and redrawing of the district map. In district 4, there is one Democrat filed.

In 1, Rep. Tim Summers (R), 67, of Bentonville, who does non-profit work, will face off against Bart Hester (R), 34, of Cave Springs, who is in real estate. There is no Democratic challenger.

In 2, Jim Henderson (R), of Sulphur Springs, who is a manufacturing plant owner, will run unopposed.

In 4, Rep. Uvalde Lindsey (D), 72, of Fayetteville, who is a consultant, will run unopposed.

In 5, Rep. Bryan King (R), 43, who is a farmer from Berryville, will run against Bill Coleman (R), 61, who is a retired farmer from Mountainburg. There is no Democratic challenger.

In 7, Sen. Bill Pritchard (R), 68, of Elkins, who is a rancher will face Rep. Jon Woods (R), 34, who is from Springdale, who is a state representative, for the Republican nomination. The only Democrat is Diana Gonzales Worthen (D), 50, who is an educator from Springdale.

All will be decided by the voters come May and November, but can the tide be turning in the favor of the Republicans? Could Arkansas, a Democratic stronghold become a Republican victory?





  1. Marilyn stokes says:

    I would like to add that Republican Candidate, Lisa France Norris, an attorney from Alma, is also running for Dist 81.

  2. Justin Harris says:

    Just wanted to mention that there is also Dist. 81, which I am running for re-election. It includes Elkins down to Alma.

  3. Matthew Jones says:

    I did mention Washington County, but I also said districts that are IN Washington County. Yes, I did realize that many, if not most, of the new districts share parts of other counties.
    Maybe a better question to pose would be why do they share with other counties. Yes obviously population in rural Washington County would make them have to share borders but why are the bigger cities like Fayetteville and parts of Springdale divided in such a fashion?
    Thank You for posting and please ask me anything, you might have a problem with my posts.
    Sorry for taking so long on this one, spring break was just here so my access to internet was limited.
    Thanks and Have A Great Day!

    WPS! MJ

  4. eLwood says:

    You mentioned Washington County then went on to list several candidates in Benton County.
    If you noticed the redistricting map for Washington County all but two House districts share a boundary with another County.

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