Posted on June 4, 2018
By Tia Lyons
Early voting begins June 12 for a runoff election between El Dorado mayoral candidates Bill Luther and Chris Lutman.
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
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, and force a runoff with Luther on June 19.
Neither of the two leading candidates pulled out more than 50 percent of the votes — which is required for a decisive victory.
Union County Clerk Shannon Phillips said early voting will be held in the Union County Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m, Monday — Friday until June 18.
On June 19, citizens may go to their polling sites in each of the city’s four wards to cast their ballots. Citizens will not be able to vote in the courthouse on Election Day.
Only people who voted in the Republican primary election and those who did not vote in the primary at all will be eligible to vote in the runoff election, Phillips said.
“If they voted Democrat, they will not be allowed to vote or if they voted Nonpartisan in the judicial races, they will not be allowed to vote in the runoff,” Phillips said.
Polling places will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day at:
• 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.
Since the preferential primary, both candidates have ratcheted up their campaigns to try and draw voters to the polls for the runoff.
Luther said he has been working with individuals and groups who endorsed him for mayor, including El Dorado Professional Firefighters Local 1074, to maximize support for June 19.
“We are reminding supporters that it is important to remain engaged and that their vote is again needed in the runoff,” he said.
“We are also reaching out to individuals who may not have voted for me in the primary and sharing with them my plan to grow El Dorado and make El Dorado a great place to call home,” Luther said.
The recently retired Entergy customer service manager has said that if elected mayor, he would focus on creating new jobs; growing existing businesses; 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.
Lutman expressed disappointment with low voter turnout on May 22, saying that the voting numbers did not match the level of enthusiasm and encouragement that he has received from local citizens since announcing his candidacy.
As community relations officer and a sergeant with the El Dorado Police Department, Lutman has said his position has afforded him a unique insight and perspective on the needs of the city and the basis for what he feels the key issue is for El Dorado: a lack of consistency in city government and services.
“I am maximizing grass my grass roots efforts to get votes … I have no big-money supporters backing me. I have the average citizen supporting me, knowing that I am the only candidate that truly understands the concerns of the city,” Lutman said, adding that making the most of out a limited window of opportunity to intensify campaign efforts is critical in boosting voter turnout for the runoff.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com .