Frank Scott Jr. has become Little Rock mayor. He makes history tonight as the first African American elected to a city that’s struggled to escape the legacy of the 1957 Central High crisis. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Scott defeated Baker Kurrus 58 percent to 41 percent.
Kurrus conceded around 8:30 p.m. with only the early vote tallied. Scott, a Little Rock banker and pastor, started his victory speech by saying, “First I just want to say, it is good to see Little Rock right now. It’s good to see every race, every culture, every faith, every sexual orientation, every gender identity — because this is all about unifying our city.” He said his campaign wasn’t just about unification, it was also about “securing our communities” and “making certain we get our school board back yesterday.” He commended Kurrus on running a good campaign and pledged to work with not only
Coverage from earlier in the evening:
* UPDATE 8:35 p.m. Frank Scott Jr. will be the next mayor of Little Rock. Only the early votes, and a scattering of absentee
THV11 is on the scene at Scott’s victory party, where Scott is giving his acceptance speech now:
* UPDATE 9:15 p.m. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, the tally now stands at Scott with 54 percent of the vote to Kurrus with 46 percent. Kurrus actually has a slight lead among those who voted on Election Day, but Scott dominated the early vote. Overall, Scott has netted 18,311 votes to 15,578 for Kurrus.
Here’s a puzzle: 26 Under Votes. This was the only race on the ballot! Did these people show up and turn in blank ballots? Hanging chads? Also two Over Votes, which makes more sense to me. A lot of people seemed to like each candidate, so maybe a couple people just decided to vote for both of them.
* UPDATE 9:30 p.m. 87 percent reporting: Scott 54 percent to 46 for Kurrus. The count is now 20,363 to 15,933.
* FINAL UNOFFICIAL TALLY: Scott’s lead widened as the precincts came in. With 100 percent reporting, the unofficial final tally: Scott wins with 58 percent of the vote, with 42 percent voting for Kurrus — 22,622 to 16,282.
Frank Scott has a substantial lead on Baker Kurrus in the early vote for the run-off for Little Rock mayor. Among the more than 14,000 votes cast, Scott got 66 percent (9,373) and Kurrus got 34 (4,763).