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?