Results in Lonoke County races are unofficial and have been adjusted for nearly 500 hand-counted paper ballots, the adjusted results were released last week. The new figures did not change the outcome of any race, showing that county Republicans had taken all contested races, putting them in charge of all county offices except Collector.
Collector Patricia McCallie was unchallenged in the May Preferential Primary, effectively settling her re-election.
But the hand count did lift the uncertainty that had hung over two Lonoke City Council races and a constable contest.
On Election Day, while the paper ballots were still out, County Election Commission chairman Tim Blair said the 2012 voter turnout for the county is the largest on record. With the hand count included the total vote is 24,196, making for a 68 percent turnout. There were about 35,400 Lonoke County voters eligible to vote in the 2012 General Election.
Unrelated to the hand count, the question of the Cabot City Council Ward 3 Position 1 seat was settled Friday with notice by incumbent Patrick Hutton that he would resign the seat effective Jan. 1, 2013. Hutton confirmed Tuesday that he had filed a letter of resignation with the county clerk.
Cabot mayor Bill Cypert said the city attorney is researching state law to determine the city’s course of action to fill the seat for the 2013-14 term.
Uncertainty in the Cabot Ward 3 Position 1 seat developed when voters gave Hutton a 3,633-3,344 margin over challenger Dallan B. Buchanan. However, Hutton had withdrawn from the race shortly before the election, leaving Buchanan with less than the 50 percent of the votes needed to be declared the winner.
Under state law, an elected official holds the office until a successor is elected or the office holder resigns or becomes incapable of holding office.
The same state law came into play during the 2004 General Election when no candidates filed for the Austin City Council. In that instance, misunderstandings about changes in filing requirements led to the incumbent council members missing the deadline to file for re-election. However, since no one else filed for election all the aldermen remained in office because no successor had been elected.
Hutton withdrew from the race after he was told by the county Election Commission of a complaint under the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act limits and defines the political activity allowed federal employees; Hutton is employed by the Veterans Administration.
Provisions are made in the Hatch Act for independent political activity not related to a political party. Hutton held his council seat as an independent.
Hutton said the complaint claimed he had aligned with a political party.
“I appreciate the support of the voters. I appreciate their confidence in my performance as a councilman. But I am not sure what would be the best thing to do [about remaining in office],” Hutton said last week.
Hutton filed the resignation notice Friday.
County election results by race (votes/percent):
President and Vice President
Romney/Ryan (R): 17,863/74
Obama/Biden (D): 5,612/23
Johnson/Gray (Lib.): 372/2
Stein/Honkala (Grn): 207/1
Lindsay/Osorio (Soc.): 29/.12
U.S. Congress District 1
Rick Crawford (R): 16,415/70
Scott Ellington (D): 5,006/26
Jessica Paxton (Lib.): 6674/3
Jacob Holloway (Grn): 437/2
State Senate District 28
Tiffany Rogers (D): 2,897/51
Jonathan Dismang (R): 2,787/49
State Representative District 13
Garland Derden Jr. (R): 720/68
David Hillman (D): 332/32
State Representative District 44
Joe Farrer (R): 3,208/73
Judy Riley (D): 1,215/27
Court of Appeals Assoc Judge 01, P2
Phillip Whiteaker. 16,265/74
Jeannette Robertson 5,750/26
Lonoke County Treasurer
Patti Weathers (R): 14,604/62
Karol DePriest (D): 8,914/38
Lonoke County Clerk
Larry Clarke (R): 12,899/55
Dawn Porterfield (D): 10,440/45
Lonoke County Sheriff
John Staley (R): 15,435/66
Dean White (D): 8,035/34
Constable - Butler Twp.
John Timothy Huett Sr. (R): 602/67
Jody Webb (D): 298/33
Constable - Lonoke Twp.
George C. Bailey (D): 1,108/70
Adam Ingle (R): 482/30
City of Austin - Alderman W-1,P6
Matthew Sheets (I): 438/71
D.G. Hammons (I): 177/29
City of Lonoke - Alderman - Ward 1
Janie Derning (D): 121/53
John D. Robinson (R): 107/47
City of Lonoke - Alderman - Ward 3
Pat Howell (D): 91/59
Stacey Pennington Moore (R): 63/41
City of Carlisle - Alderman Ward 1 Pos2
Chad Bennett (I): 519/67
Joe Cunningham (I): 260/33
City of Carlisle - Alderman Ward 2 Pos2
W.H. Kittler (I): 395/51
Marla Cunningham (I): 388/49
City of Cabot - Alderman, Ward 2, Pos1:
Patrick Hutton - 3,633/52
Dallan B. Buchanan- 3,344/48
City of Cabot Alderman, Ward 3, Pos1:
Angie Armstrong Hoschouer - 3,528/52
Irene C. Ernst - 3,301/48
City of Allport - Alderman Position 4
Porsche Farmer – 38/63
Jeremy B. Allen – 22/37
White River Irrigation District – For: 17,042/81; Against: 4,035/19
Bayou Meto Irrigation Water District – For: 16,447/83; Against: 3,432/17
Issue No.1 (Highway Improvement Bond) – For: 13,599/60; Against: 9,200/40
Issue No.2 (Expanded bond districts) - For: 10,314/47; Against: 11,774/53
Issue No.5 (Medical Marijuana) - For: 11,286/48; Against: 12,453/52
Repeal City of Lonoke Burn Ban – For: 721/53; Against: 648/47
In other election-related events, former Justice of the Peace Bill “Pete” Pedersen was arrested Nov. 1 on a misdemeanor assault complaint filed by Justice of the Peace Henry “H.L.” Lang.
According to the complaint, filed at the sheriff’s office, Lang said he was near the Cabot City Annex, sitting in a chair holding campaign signs, when he heard “What sounded like a vehicle rush up behind him” and a horn blowing.
Lang said he turned and saw a vehicle “just a couple of inches” from his chair, and saw the driver was Pedersen, who was yelling and cursing at him. The car then backed up and left the area.
On Wednesday, Pedersen said he was arrested and then released. “It was just a setup on me,” he said. Arraignment on the charge would be in early December, he said.