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City mayoral runoff election set for today

Posted on June 19, 2018

El Dorado voters will head to the polls today to decide a runoff election between Republican mayoral candidates Bill Luther and Chris Lutman.

The early voting period ended Monday , with 446 voters casting their ballots by 4 p.m. in the Union County Clerk’s office.

Today, El Dorado residents who are eligible to vote in the runoff will visit their respective polling sites, which will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., to decide which Republican candidate will face Democratic challenger Veronica Smith Creer in the fall.

Polling sites are:

• Ward 1, Union County Fairgrounds, 1430 E. 19th.

• Ward 2, Hillsboro Street Christ, 1322 W. Hillsboro.

• Ward 3, St. James Village Outreach Facility, 1308 E. Hillsboro.

• Ward 4, El Dorado Municipal Auditorium.

Luther and Lutman emerged as the front-runners in a three-way race with incumbent Mayor Frank Hash during the Republican preferential primary election on May 22.

Luther grabbed 516 votes (43.07 percent), and Lutman garnered 374 votes (31.22 percent) to edge out Hash (308, 25.71 percent), who is serving his second term as mayor.

Since neither of the two leading candidates received more than 50 percent of the votes to secure a decisive victory, a runoff was scheduled for today.

Only people who voted in the May 22 Republican preferential primary election and registered voters who did not vote in the primary at all are eligible to vote in the runoff.

The early voting period for the runoff began on June


During that time, more than 464 people signed in to vote in the county clerk’s office, but several had to be marked off the sign-in sheet, said Alice Lowery, elections/records clerk.

“They had either voted Democrat in the primary, or they were coming in for a marriage license or conducting other business, so they signed in. They didn’t know it was for voting,” Lowery said, noting that the sign-in sheet was located on the front counter near the entrance of the clerk’s office.

“We are gratefully optimistic. (There) appears to be a good turnout for early voting,” Luther said Monday.

Lutman said he received reports that early votes topped out at just under 550, and he urged more voters to head to the polls today.

“People are going to do what is important to them and I hope that reflects at the voting booth,” Lutman said. “I’ve heard the talk. It’s time to back it up, no matter who the vote is for.”

Lutman, a sergeant and community relations supervisor for the El Dorado Police Department, has taken a grassroots approach to drumming up support.

If elected, Lutman said he will work to improve consistency in city government and the application of city services.

Luther, a recently retired engineer and customer service manager of Entergy and community volunteer, has promised “people over politics.”

He has cited several key issues he will address if elected to the mayor’s office, including creating new jobs; keeping existing businesses growing; repairing streets and fixing potholes; providing a high level of public services; picking up litter and cleaning up our city; and providing the basic essential services of police and fire protection.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ .