TONTITOWN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — This May, residents of Tontitown will get the opportunity to select their mayor for the remainder of 2022.

The special election comes after the former mayor, Paul Colvin Jr., resigned in December of 2021. Gene McCartney has been serving as acting mayor. McCartney is running to finish his term until the end of the year.

Opposing him is Angie Russell, another Tontitown resident. She said one of the major reasons she’s running is to address her environmental concerns with the nearby landfill.

“It’s causing the citizens to be sick,” Russell told KNWA. “We are dizzy. We are smelling these vapors, burning eyes, burning throat, just choking. It feels like you’re choking.”

In campaign videos posted to Facebook, Russell said her integrity and community involvement make her the best candidate.

In an interview with KNWA, McCartney said he agrees with Russell that there should be more accountability for the landfill, but said he’s more inclined to place that blame on state regulators. He added that he’s overseeing a steering committee that’s trying to find a way for the city to do its own air quality testing. McCartney said the landfill issue is a balancing act, and affects people beyond Tontitown.

“So for 12 years, 15 years, we would have to find something to do with our solid waste if we were to lose the landfill,” said McCartney. “That would be devastating for Northwest Arkansas.”

McCartney’s fundraising site says residents should select him based on his sound leadership, transparency, and fiscal responsibility.

Regardless of who wins this May, the City of Tontitown will hold a regular election this November, which will determine its mayor starting in 2023.