It’s runoff election day in Arkansas and some races of interest appear on the Pulaski County ballot.


In North Little Rock, there’s a Council runoff and a hotly contested match for mayor to succeed retiring Joe Smith between former Mayor Terry Hartwick and former Sen. Tracy Steele, who spurned his Democratic party roots to endorse Asa Hutchinson in 2014 and got a job in the Hutchinson administration in return.

Two seats remain to be filled on the newly reconstituted Little Rock School Board. State Sen. Joyce Elliott, a school warrior, has endorsed Evelyn Hemphill Callaway, who faces Tommy Branch, and Vicki Hatter, who faces Fransha Anderson.


Or you can go with the choice of the anti-LRSD Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which endorsed Anderson and Branch solely because their opponents were endorsed by the Little Rock Education Association. The D-G endorsement is all about control of the district. It laughably continues to insist that the unlamented Roy Brooks was a good school superintendent (though he proved equally unsuccessful at subsequent jobs at a charter school in Little Rock and a Georgia school district). What the D-G liked about Brooks was that he was in the pocket of schemes of the Billionaire Boys Club, whose members include the newspaper’s publisher. The newspaper editorial finds no reason to mention Branch’s pending DWI charge or the faulty and deficit-ridden campaign finance report he filed. Likewise, it finds unworthy of mention Anderson’s record (now expunged) on charges related to a hot check and misuse of a public agency charge account.

Elliott is a better judge. She endorses Callaway, a retired teacher, and Hatter, an ever-present and outspoken voice in the long six years the district has spent in the wilderness under failed state control.


As of 5 p.m. Monday, the Pulaski County Election Commission said 3,363 votes had been cast in the various elections. Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

The Commission will meet at 9 p.m. to canvass absentee ballots and certify unofficial results. A discussion is also on the agenda of general election issues, including mistakes in handling some disqualified absentee ballots. The Republican commissioners, Kristi Stahr and chair Evelyn Gomez have issues with staff members, who answer to County Judge Barry Hyde. Gomez pushed one staff member, drawing a police complaint. A potential new issue has been raised by Ashley Hudson, winner of a tight state House race being contested by the loser, Republican Rep. Jim Sorvillo. Her answer to his complaint contends some absentee ballots were improperly disqualified, perhaps some of the 27 to 32 that were improperly counted in that race. They were among a batch in a mismarked box that was erroneously added to totals. But they potentially figure only in two close races — Hudson/Sorvillo and a House race in North Little Rock.