Benton County prepares for Republican runoff races


ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Two state representative races head toward runoffs. Some people living in Benton County’s Districts 90 and 91 will have the opportunity to vote again later this month.

Benton County primary races were on Super Tuesday’s ballot, but Scott Richardson’s District 91 House campaign continues.

“There’s a lot of energy still,” Richardson (R) said. “There’s a lot of momentum still in this race, so we’re gonna take advantage of that as we move forward.”

Richardson is in a runoff against opponent Delia Haak (R) after neither candidate got a majority of the vote Tuesday. The other candidate in that three-person Republican race will be dropped from the ballot, and people will vote again.

“This is great for Republicans and Conservatives across the Northwest corridor,” Richardson said.

Janine Parry, a University of Arkansas political science professor, said the frontrunner from regular primary races usually wins in a runoff, but it’s all about who can get the most people to simply show up to the polls.

“They’ll each try to rally their supporters,” Parry said. “Turnout will fall off a little bit.”

Richardson took in 44% of the vote, while Haak registered 33%. Haak said the game plan won’t change even though she didn’t get the top spot.

“It just makes us more determined to reach out to the people that voted for us and the people that voted for our other opponent in a three-way race that’re looking for an alternative to Mr. Richardson,” Haak said.

Not everyone can vote this time around, said Kim Dennison, Benton County’s election coordinator.

“With this being a Republican runoff election, if you voted a Democrat ballot in the primary election, you will not be eligible to vote in this election,” Dennison said.

Whoever gets the majority in the runoff will move onto the general election. This is an opportunity for people who didn’t vote in the primary, Richardson said.

“This is important,” Richardson said. “Small races like these have a direct impact our lives, and they are more closely aligned with how we can get things done in our area.”

Early voting starts March 24 at all three county clerk’s offices. Election day is March 31.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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