After months of campaigning, the Bentonville mayoral race will be decided in less than 24 hours.
You’ve seen the signs for five months now.
It’s crunch time for Stephanie Orman and Jim Webb.
Both – vying to become the next mayor of Bentonville.
The race began with five candidates but after the November mid-term election – neither Webb nor Orman secured the more than 50% majority of the vote necessary to win, resulting in a run-off.
Jim Webb is a graduate of Bentonville High.
He’s a former city council member and works for an outdoor toy company supplier.
His primary focus is traffic and congestion.
Webb wants to stick to the city’s master plan but also grow smart.
“I’d like to form a local coalition of local businesses leaders and people that have knowledge in city structure as well as state leaders,” Webb said. “That way we have a bigger voice in Little Rock.”
Stephanie Orman is a city council member and the director of social media and community involvement for an auto dealership.
Orman also hopes to grant funding for new infrastructure.
And when it comes to affordable housing.. she supports the free market.
“I’m a supply and demand person,” Orman said. “We need to work with our developers to help make the cost of living a little bit easier here.”
Both recognize this political race took a rough turn.
Orman cited expenditure reports from Webb’s campaign — showing he received $41,000 in total contributions from the Republican State Leadership Committee.
“I thought it was important for people to know this part of the political process,” Orman said. “The public here has said we want local politics to stay local.”
Webb assuring me – the partisan PAC donation was out of his control though he chose not to comment about whether the outside funds may have helped or hurt him.
“I was not aware of this when it was happening,” Webb said. “They up and took interest in my campaign. It was not filed through me. It was filed throughout the state.”
With just one day until the results come in, both agree the next leader of Bentonville must unite the city after the election.
“There’s a handful of people who have been very split but I’ve seen people come together even during these dirty tactics,” Webb said.
“When you look at what the people of Bentonville want there is a lot of commonality, so just bringing people together to talk for be the number on priority for me,” Orman said.