WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — There are two local races heading to a runoff in Washington County. Early voting for runoff races in Arkansas began on Tuesday.
Springdale City Council incumbent Brian Powell and candidate Alice Gachuzo-Colin are heading to a runoff for Ward 3, Position 1. Any eligible voter in Springdale can vote in this race because city council members are elected at large.
Colin has lived in Springdale for 30 years and is a single mom. She is hoping to be the first African American elected to a Springdale seat.
“People are actively speaking and they’re saying they’re ready for a change,” she said.
She wants the city to reinvest in its people.
“We need as a city we need to figure out a way to also address the homeless population,” she said. “Some people like to turn their blind eye as they say, but you can’t turn an eye to people.”
Powell has served one full term on the city council. Before that, he served on the Springdale Planning Commission.
He wants to continue supporting police, fire, EMS, public works, neighborhood services and planning saying, “One of the biggest challenges I see is to maintain the ability to provide high-quality services to a city that is growing rapidly.”
He said the opportunities for the city are limitless thanks to great community partnerships, and he says that includes partnerships with the city council.
“This is a team effort and it takes all of us to keep Springdale moving forward,” he said, “Springdale is family and this family is truly blessed.”
The Farmington mayor race is also heading to a runoff between incumbent Mayor Ernie Penn and Council Member Diane Bryant.
Penn said he’s proud of how he’s helped Farmington adjust to growth.
“We have 20 police officers full time, and we now have a full-time fire department where before it was a volunteer department,” he said.
He said there are several big projects the city is in the middle of that he wants to see continue if re-elected.
“We have a new contract negotiation with the City of Fayetteville for our water and sewer services, and also some growth in Creekside Park,” he said.
Bryant wants to make some ease of life improvements to the city.
“Timing the streetlights along Main Street, so people don’t have to stop and start stop and start,” she said.
She also wants to see Farmington become more walkable and accessible.
“We might be able to get some money from some of those programs to clear off our sidewalks,” she said. “The worst part of their sidewalks are asphalt and the grass does overgrow them, but if we got the grass off it wouldn’t destroy them.”
Early voting continues until Monday at the Washington County Courthouse for these two races. December 6th is runoff Election Day.
All four candidates KNWA/FOX24 spoke to encourage people to make their voices heard in these important local races.