Republican Nominee Drops Out of WashCo Race


Fox 24 is your Local Election Headquarters and a shakeup Friday in the Washington County Judges race.

Months after the primary, the Republican Nominee Micah Neal has pulled himself from the ballot.

We are about 130 days out from election day and about a month from ballots being printed, and Neal’s resignation creates a vacancy on that November ballot.
So it begs the question, how does the GOP or any party facing this problem recover, especially this close to an election?

Micah Neal is currently  serving as a State House Representative for District 89.
He chose to run for Washington County Judge, rather than seeking re-election to a third term.

But now he’s changed his mind. According to Neal’s Facebook post, he said in part quote:
“This is a business decision that I’ve reached with my family. I will be moving and unable to fulfill the requirements of the office.”

“With Representative Neal moving out of the district, there will be a mechanism for them, the GOP convention to actually name a new candidate,” Tyler Clark with the Washington County Democrats said.

Arkansas Code 7-7-104 outlines how a vacant nomination can be filled, regardless of the race.
In Neal’s case, because he said he’s moving out of the district the party is allowed to replace him on the ballot.

“However we will be watching very closely. Mr. Neal’s intent of actually moving out of the district or not,” Clark said.

With the clock ticking, the next step will be for Neal to file a letter with the County to remove him from the ballot., which at the close of business Friday had not been done.
When that happens the Clerk’s Office will pass the letter to the Governor.

“Once that occurs, the Governor has five days to let the county know,” Jack Avery Former Chair Arkansas Young Republicans said. “Whether or not we will proceed with a county convention to elect somebody to fill that spot or if they will go through a special primary. As long as it occurs before those ballots are made in August.”

Avery said the Arkansas GOP will be working diligently over the next several weeks to make sure a replacement Republican is on the ballot.

“As a democracy, it’s important Arkansans have a choice in November,” Avery said.

Neal was running against Democrat Mark Kinion, who is currently a Fayetteville Alderman for Ward 2.
We did reach out to Neal for comment, but haven’t heard back.

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