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.
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.”
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.
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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