With 6,329 ballots cast out of a 10,508 registered voters, Van Buren County’s 2018 General Election was completed with no recorded problems Tuesday night, Nov. 6.
Votes for state offices clearly leaned red in county returns, with clear majority votes for incumbent Congressman French Hill as well as Governor Asa Hutchinson, with Hill taking 72 percent of the vote, and Hutchinson at 78.54 percent of the vote at 4,518 and 4,933 votes, respectively.
The favor for the Republican incumbents in state office continued, with wins for Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Treasurer Dennis Milligan and State Land Commissioner John Thurston all gaining over 70 percent of the vote. Incumbent State Auditor Andrea Lee came in higher than most at a near 81 percent vote.
The county-wide races had Dale James winning over incumbent county judge Roger Hooper, with Jame’s 3,650 votes making near 58 percent of the vote total against Hooper's 2,475 making 39.3 percent. Independent candidate Tony Soyani came in with 172 votes, at 2.73 percent of the vote for that office.
The three-way race for county sheriff was a win for Lucas Emberton with 54 percent of the vote, at 3,425, over Eric Koonce at 32.48, 2,044 votes. Independent candidate Paul Rice scored 13.1 percent with 825 votes.
Incumbent county treasurer Kim Hunley lost to Mistie Wilson in that race, 38 percent to 61 percent, 2,364 to 3,836 votes respectively.
Emma Smiley won in County Assessor, 76.81 percent with 4,762 votes to opponent Ginny Stone at 23.1 percent with 1,438 votes.
All the above races showed a voter preference for Republican candidates.
County coroner was an exception to partisan outcomes, with the three way race requiring a run off. Incumbent Joe Tsosie, Democrat, finished the night at 47.68 percent with 2,796 votes against Jon Galbraith at 44.3 percent with 2,765 votes. The third contestant, running as an independent, was Ron Henson finishing with 501 votes or 8 percent of the total.
The other run-off race is the four way race for Justice of the Peace District 9, with Wes Newland at 41 percent of the vote, at 292 against Ester Bass with 31 percent of the vote at 222, these against Judy Well with 18.5 percent at 130 votes over Tracen Wheeler at 8.26 percent, or 58 of the 702 vote total cast in that race.
Carol Crews won the non-partisan race for 20th Judicial District Prosecutor over Zach Throneberry. Courtney Goodson won a close races with David Sterling for her seat on the state supreme court. Goodson’s race was closer in the county with her gaining 52 percent of the vote, with the state showing her with 56 percent.
Sara Brown defeated Darla Privitt for Justice of the Peace District 3. JP District 7 was very close with incumbent Brian Tatum over William Fosko 317 to 311 votes of the 628 total. Virgil Lemmings defeated incumbent Kevin Housely for JP District 8, another case of Republican defeating Democrat.
Mayoral races were all unopposed for incumbent mayors in the county.
Incumbent Jeff Pistole defeated challenger Mike Curtis for a seat on Clinton City Council. Randall Gardner defeated Brandy Kimmons for Shirley council.
Constitutional Amendments for Voter ID, Casinos and increasing the minimum wage all passed. In the county, Voter ID was strongly favored, at 82 percent for, and minimum wage at 66 percent for. The casino vote was closer, with 53 percent for in Van Buren County.