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McClanahan Ousts Nelson in JP Race


Several Mississippi County justices of the peace lost their seats Tuesday night on Super Tuesday, including one who has been on the Quorum Court for 19 years.

Justice of the Peace District 4 incumbent Bill Nelson (R- Blytheville) was defeated by challenger Tobye McClanahan (R-Blytheville) 188 votes (54.34 percent) to 155 votes (45.66 votes), ending his long tenure on the Quorum Court.

"Mississippi County is my home and I want it to prosper," McClanahan said. "I am so grateful for the trust and support of District 4 voters and I'm looking forward to working hard for all of Mississippi County. "

In the Quorum Court Justice of the Peace District 1 race, Aaron Fleeman (R-Leachville) regained the seat by defeating incumbent Fred Fleeman (R-Leachville) 234 votes (54.93 percent) to 192 votes (45.07 percent).

"I want to thank the voters who went out and allowed their voice to resonate in Mississippi County by selecting me as the next Justice of the Peace for District 1," A. Fleeman said. "I will to the best of my ability take each concern, suggestion, and the values I have heard while campaigning to heart and do my best to reflect those values in my 2021 and 2022 term on the Quorum Court."

Incumbent Alvin Clay was defeated by challenger Cecil McDonald in the Democrat primary for the Justice of the Peace District 6 193 votes (80.42 percent) to 47 votes (19.58 percent).

McDonald hadn't returned call for comment as of press time.

Meanwhile, incumbent Michael White (R-Manila) defeated challenger Brandon Harper (R-Manila) 267 votes (65.44 percent) to 141 votes (45.07 percent) for Justice of the Peace District 2.

White said, "I am overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of encouragement and support I received from every area of the county. But I am humbled and honored by the effort made by my friends and neighbors of District 2 in re-electing me as their Quorum Court representative. I will continue to work hard, be honest, and serve our citizens with integrity."

Incumbent Jo Ann Henton defeated challenger Joe Lewis, Sr., 119 votes (54.34 percent) to 100 votes (45.66 percent).

Henton hadn't returned a call as of press time.

Incumbent Sylvester Belcher was defeated by Harbans Mangat for Justice of the Peace District 9 in the Democrat primary, 189 votes (61.36 votes) to 119 votes (38.64 votes).

"I want to thank the voters of District 9, our contributors and all of the volunteers who made this victory possible," Harbans said. "This race has never been about me. It's always been about a brighter future for District 9 and Mississippi County."

Incumbent Howard "Bubba" Norvell defeated challenger Dennis Tucker, Jr., 191 votes (68.46 percent) to 88 votes (31.54 percent).

"Thank you all for your support and votes in the election. I always try my best to communicate with the citizens of our district, hear your concerns, address your issues, advocate for you and represent you well," Norvell said.

Justice of the Peace District 3 Neil Burge ran unopposed, as did Justice of the Peace District 5 Molly Houseworth-Jackson, Justice of the Peace District 10 Betty Hepler, and Justice of the Peace District 8 Rick Ash.

Tuesday night, elections were held across the state of Arkansas, which is a part of Super Tuesday. Mississippi County had 18 precincts and has 19,819 registered voters, with 4,444 total votes (Republicans - 2,339, Democrats - 2,002 and Nonpartisan -105) cast during the primary elections.

On the Democrat ballot for U.S. President Joseph R. Biden won the county with 1,006 votes, Michael R. Bloomberg came in second with 379 and Bernie Sanders came in third with 320.

On the Republican ballot for U.S. President, Donald Trump won the county with 97.52 percent of the vote with 2,245 votes. Bill Weld came in second place with 47 votes and Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente receiving 10 votes.

At the state level, Representative Monte Hodges (D-Blytheville), challenger Gary Tobar (R-Gilmore), Representative Johnny Rye (R-Trumann) and Senator Dave Wallace (R-Leachville) all ran unopposed in the primary.

However, in Craighead County, in State Senate District 21 incumbent Senator John Cooper (R-Jonesboro) was defeated by challenger Representative Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) 5,487 votes (58.58 percent) to 3,879 votes (41.42 percent).

"Our win was a great victory for the people of NEA," said Sullivan. "We ran on our strong Republican platform that centers on our faith in God, the sanctity of life, individual responsibility and freedoms, the right to self defense founded in the 2nd Amendment, lower taxes and less government intervention in our daily lives. The people voted this message and I will continue to fight for these conservative values."

In the three-man race for Rep. Sullivan's seat in House District 53, Cole Peck and Lake City Mayor Jon Milligan will be in a runoff after outpacing Jonesboro councilman Bobby Long. Peck received 1,394 votes (40.63 percent), Milligan received 1,128 votes (32.88 percent) and Long received 909 votes (26.49 percent). Early voting for the runoff will begin on March 24 and Election Day will be March 31.

Peck was reached out to but hadn't returned call as of press time.

"I'd like to thank all of the volunteers, also for all of the words of encouragement and moral support during this campaign," Milligan said. "I'm looking forward to the next leg of this race and I would like to encourage people to go back to the polls on March 24 through March 31 to vote in the runoff. I also would like to thank the Good Lord for allowing me to be in this race and making it into the runoff. "

For Arkansas Supreme Court Position 4 Barbara Womack Webb defeated Judge Morgan "Chip" Welch 2,137 votes (52.48 percent) to 1,935 votes (47.52 percent) in Mississippi County. Webb defeated Welch state-wide with 244,780 votes (53.61 percent) to 211,833 (46.39 percent).

For Circuit Judge of District 2, Tom Young defeated Skip Mooney, Jr. for Division 5, in Mississippi County, 2,253 votes to 1,829 votes. However, Mooney was victorious in the District by receiving 17,327 votes to 17,110 votes.

In Division 7, Mary Lile Broadaway won Mississippi County, 2,043 votes to 1,995 votes, and the District, 19,125 votes to 15,225.

In Division 8, Matthew Coe defeated Kimberly Boling Bibb in Mississippi County 2,213 votes to 1,884 votes, however, Coe was defeated in District 2 with 16,904 votes for Bibb and 16,292 votes for Coe.

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington defeated Scott Willhite in both Mississippi County - 2,960 votes to 1,228 votes - and in District 2, 22,407 votes to 12,518 votes.

In Osceola District 18 Court, Catherine Palmer Dean defeated Judge Donald Betterton 860 votes to 696 votes.

For school millages: Armorel's passed 68 votes to 45 votes, Blytheville's passed 789 votes to 663 votes, Gosnell's passed 222 votes to 194 votes, Manila's passed 369 votes to 215 votes, Osceola's passed 477 votes to 355 votes, Rivercrest passed 221 votes to 208 votes and BIC's passed 206 votes to 98 votes.