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story.lead_photo.caption Joel Edwards

BENTONVILLE -- Incumbent Joel Edwards, a Republican, defeated Democrat Asele Mack in the Benton County Justice of the Peace District 15 race on Tuesday.

The complete but unofficial vote totals were:

• Edwards: 4,179 (67%)

• Mack: 2,059 (33%)

District 15 includes parts of northwestern Bentonville and the area west to Bella Vista, Gravette and Centerton.

Edwards, 51, who is in his first term on the Quorum Court, said previously he wants to continue working to provide a check on county officials in their spending and how they provide the services county government offers. Edwards is a business analyst manager with Arvest Bank.

"One of the biggest problems is keeping the balance between holding everyone accountable from a budget standpoint and still helping those people get things done," Edwards said. "I can't just say 'no' to everybody. How do I find the balance between what's reasonable and what isn't?"

Edwards has said he supports the proposed $30 million courts building, but had reservations about the temporary, one-eighth cent sales tax to fund it and about having the plan put to a vote in a March 2019 special election.

"I thought we could have used more from our reserves, and we could have done a better job of scaling the building down," Edwards said. "I also questioned having a special election that close to November. Elections should happen in a forum where the most citizens can vote. In the end, we absolutely need a new courts facility, and I will be supporting it going forward."

Mack, 51, is a librarian at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Justices of the peace serve two-year terms and are paid $230 for each Quorum Court and Committee of the Whole meeting and $144 for each meeting of a committee of which they are a member.

Politics on 11/07/2018

Print Headline: Edwards holds Benton County District 15 seat

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