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Election Day in Greenwood: 25% Voter Turnout, Lowest Ever for Mayoral Election

Greenwood Parks Director Doug Kinslow was elected the fourth mayor this year (the fifth in four years)to serve until the end of 2014. Kinslow defeated Alex Selkirk yesterday for the temporary post. The previously elected mayor Delmer Gabbard left office back in January amid rumors and speculation as to why.  Only three of about the last ten mayors in Greenwood ever stayed for a full term.  Kinslow will fill out the balance of Gabbard’s term and Greenwood will have another mayoral election in November. Two un-elected interim mayors have served since January. Kinslow, a former Boys & Girls Club director and barber entered public service in 2007 as Greenwood’s first fulltime Director of Parks and Recreation-an appointed position. Selkirk who was defeated in the race by a vote of 1046 to 497 is also new to Greenwood politics, though he is the son of former Greenwood Mayor Judy Selkirk.

In November, the mayor’s seat and three of Greenwood’s six city councilmen will be up for election.

According to the Sebastian County Clerk’s office, there are 5960 registered voters in Greenwood who could have voted in the mayoral election. A total of 1543 voted, or 25.8%, voted in the special election. Political watchers hope that the November election which includes gubernatorial candidates, United States Senate Candidates and potentially the annexation of the Shadow Lake area will draw more voters.

Sebastian County Treasurer Judith Miller of Greenwood was handily re-elected defeating challenger Steve Hotz. Sebastian County Assessor won by about the same significant margin for re-election against challenger Ken Colley. Those races were in the Republican Primary and neither has a Democratic Party challenger in November where a Republican sweep is expected in most all partisan races.

The non-partisan Circuit Judge District 12 position went to Fort Smith attorney Leigh Zuerker who defeated Barling attorney Paul Post.

In the nearby Arkansas State Senate District, voters removed Senator Bruce Holland and installed in his place, State Representative Terry Rice of Waldron in the Republican Primary. No Democrat filed to run for the seat. To the north of Greenwood, Arkansas House of Representatives District 76 seat will be filled by Republican Matt Pitsch who narrowly defeated Bobby Altes. Again, no Democratic challenger filed to run for the seat in November.

Only a few small handful of the State Senate seats that are up for re-election are being contested.  Of the one hundred Arkansas State House of Representatives seats fewer than thirty have two-party opposition. Thus, it’s a good year for incumbents.

Of Arkansas’ 2459 voting precincts reporting figures in the race for governor so far, 107356 votes were cast for Republican candidates and 98622 for Democratic candidates. The governor’s race in November is going to be close judging by those statistics. Greenwood can look forward to a good many visits from both, Democrat Mike Ross, a former 4th District Congressman and Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former 3rd District Congressman and Cabinet Secretary.


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