Police & Fire

Gubernatorial hopeful makes local stop on Election Day

Republicans, Democrats plan watch parties tonight in downtown

By BLANTON MATTHEWS & JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

The busy intersection of Pine and 26th streets was noisier than normal midday Tuesday as both Democrats and Republicans rallied in support of their parties’ candidates.

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Jones stopped in Arkadelphia at mid-day on Election Day. The stop was a part of a state-wide tour, beginning early this morning in Stephens. From there Jones came to Arkadelphia, before leaving for his hometown of Pine Bluff, the final stop before Little Rock tonight to watch results come in.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Jones is pictured with a supporter Tuesday in Arkadelphia. Jones included Clark County on his final tour of the state before heading back to Little Rock to await results. | Blanton Matthews/The Arkadelphian

Jones’ presence attracted a couple dozen supporters who chanted at traffic from each side of the city’s main thoroughfare, prompting countless motorists to honk in response. Jones said he came to Arkadelphia because it was one of many smaller cities in Arkansas whose voice is not heard. “I love all of Arkansas, with all of my heart,” he said, “I want to make everyone’s voice heard.”

Clark County Democrats crowd the corner of Pine and 26th Street on Tuesday. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian
Democratic candidate for Clark County Clerk Tina Johnson, center, was among the Democrats rallying on Pine Street. Also pictured is Zack Garrett, who’s challenging George Hawthorn for constable. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian

He was joined on the corner of 26th Street and Pine Street by dozens of supporters filling the sidewalk on two sides of the corner between Walgreens and the Arkadelphia Alliance and Chamber of Commerce building. Also present were local Democratic candidates Zach Bledsoe (JP-1), Michael Ankton (JP-2), Vanilla Hannah (JP-3), and Zack Garrett (Constable). The group planned to be on the campus of Henderson State University, but had to move due to conflicting ongoing Reddie Day events for incoming students.

Although outnumbered, Republicans would not be outdone. Across the street outside Southern Bancorp, there was a small group holding signs supporting Jones’ opponent Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Hannah’s opponent for District 3 Justice of the Peace position, Nick Stover. Tracy Rider, who is seeking the office of Clark County Clerk, was also there, sign in one hand as she waved with the other.

County Clerk candidate Tracy Rider, center, waves at traffic Tuesday, along with Nick Stover and Cassie Gonzales. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian

Throughout the lunch hour, both groups were civil toward one another during the final hours before polls close at 7:30 p.m. A total of 3,336 citizens — 27% of the county’s registered voters — had cast an early vote, according to County Clerk Mona Vance.

Registered voters may cast a ballot at any of the nine vote centers, regardless of their precinct. Those vote centers are:

Amity City Hall, 121 E. Thompson St.

Arkadelphia Recreation Center, 2555 Twin Rivers Dr.

Caddo Valley City Hall, 137 Malvern Road

Clark County Training Center, 35 McClellan Blvd., Gum Springs

First Methodist Church, 107 N. 9th St., Arkadelphia

Gurdon Municipal Building, 103 Maple St.

Manchester Community Building, 1216 Manchester Road

Okolona City Hall, 307 S. Main St.

St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 1505 Caddo St.

Watch parties scheduled

The Clark County Republican Committee will hold an Election Day watch party Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. at Slim & Shorty’s restaurant, located on Clinton Street in downtown Arkadelphia. That party is expected to conclude around 9 p.m.

The Clark County Democratic Committee will hold an Election Day watch party Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at Dawson Education Cooperative Building #4, on Clinton Street. That party is expected to conclude around 9 p.m.

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  1. Great candidates on both sides! Ankton (D-2) and Stover (R-3) have my endorsement for JP, because fiscal responsibility is more important than bickering over partisan disagreements. I’m voting Libertarian for Governor, but I really respect Chris Jones (D) for stopping in Clark County. By the way, I’m not related to Tina Johnson (D), but I am voting for her, LOL! If you live in JP District 8 (around Amity) you can vote for an independent! So if you’re sick of 2-party politics getting in the way of progress, I’d appreciate your vote, thank you! But it’s more important that Justices Buscher (R) and Hannah (D) get voted out, so if you live in Arkadelphia, go vote!

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