But some midterms are still out
As the dust settles after Election Day on Nov. 6, the incoming results declare some winners but postpone a few battles for another day.
The race for Searcy mayor is still undecided since none of the four candidates brought in over half the votes. A runoff election will follow between Kyle Osborne and Kyle Reeves, who respectively received 35.59 percent and 27.93 percent of the vote, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office.
In the Searcy City Council, the incumbent aldermen won the day with Logan Cothern for Ward One Position One and Dale English for Ward Three Position One. The Ward Two Position One seat will also require a runoff as none of the three candidates — Chris Howell, Danny L. Bennett and Marty Bayne — acquired over half the vote. The runoff elections are set for Dec. 4, according to Cothern.
“I’m just pleased and happy that I managed to win, and I consider myself lucky,” Cothern said.
Of his next term on the city council, Cothern said some goals include repaving streets, improving drainage and adjusting employee salaries in line with other Arkansas cities the size of Searcy.
“I hope that we continue the process that we’ve been making,” Cothern said.
While the local races leave a little uncertainty, a winner emerged from the Arkansas governor election almost immediately after polls closed. Gov. Asa Hutchinson won a second term in the office, and incumbent French Hill also won another term to represent Arkansas District Two in the U.S. Congress.
With the results in from all precincts, the majority of Arkansas voters chose to confirm Issues Two, Four and Five. Issue Two amends the Arkansas constitution to require valid photo identification to vote, Issue Four grants four casino gaming licenses and Issue Five raises the minimum wage.
Sophomore Raissa Ames was encouraged by the voter turnout for this election.
“The voter turnout for the ages of 18 – 24 was nothing like it had been before the midterm elections, and I think that shows the urge that the young voters have to make a change for the world that they have to not only live in, but also raise a family in,” Ames said.
On the national scene, the Republicans have retained the majority in the Senate, and the Democrats have flipped enough seats to gain the majority in the House.
Ames was also inspired by the change in the diversity of the House of Representatives.
“We now see our representatives looking more like our populations,” Ames said.
Senior public administration major Luke Johnson attended the election viewing party in the Ganus Building along with other Harding students.
“I always enjoy watching the coverage, but I’m a political junkie,” Johnson said.
Based on the election results, Johnson said he did not see the political divide improving by 2020, but he also did not believe in the rhetoric that this was a particularly violent political season.
“We should be thankful for how good we have it and unplug from the media’s narrative long enough to calm down and start going to cookouts together again,” Johnson said. “MABA: Make Americans Barbecue Again.”
Information from Arkansas Secretary of State’s Election Night Reporting Website.