by Max Brantley
The Stone County Election Commission today declared that the race for the Democratic nomination for sheriff between incumbent Todd Hudspeth and Lance Bonds ended in a tie.
The latest report from out Mountain View correspondent, Tyler Henderson:
It's difficult to say what is hotter in Stone County right now: the temperatures or the discussion about the runoff to determine who will be the Democratic nominee for Sheriff. The Stone County Election Committee met again this afternoon to cool down the locally heated debate.
Chairman Bob Turner called the commission to order at 3pm inside the courtroom of the county courthouse. Immediately thereafter, Democratic Commissioner Betty Allred moved for the commission to certify the results of the June 8th Democratic sheriff's runoff as showing that both candidates, incumbent Sheriff Todd Hudspeth and challenger Lance
Bonds, received 1,383 votes each. Republican Commissioner Vernon Humphrey seconded the motion, with the amendment that the commission certify the results of all the June 8th Democratic primary runoffs. The motion was accepted unanimously by the commission.
Turner then addressed the assembled crowd, which included both candidates and their attorneys, representatives of the 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's office, the media and a sizeable audience. "We've moved forward on what we needed to do," Turner said. "The [Democratic Party of Arkansas] will deal with it now. We should get a proclamation from the Governor by Wednesday."
Turner was referring to Arkansas Code Section 7-7-104, which states that, in case of a tie vote for the same office at a general primary election, a vacancy in nomination for that office shall exist. In that instance, the state committee of the relevant political party may petition the Governor for either a special election or party convention to determine who the nominee will be.
When asked by an audience member how the commission would let the public know what the Governor decided, Turner said that the commission would meet to view the proclamation before it was presented to the public. After that, the meeting was adjourned. The total elapsed time was only 6 minutes.
Whatever happens next, things look to stay pretty hot this summer in the Ozarks.