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Legislative race results for Northwest Arkansas

by Doug Thompson | November 4, 2020 at 7:31 a.m.
Shane Ruark, 5, waits with his father Stephen in line to vote Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at the voting center at First Church of the Nazarene in Springdale. Tuesday was the general election. Check out and for a photo gallery.(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)

Rep. Megan Godfrey, D-Springdale, withstood an attempt to undo her 2018 upset win in a traditionally Republican district, carrying her race by almost 10 percentage points in incomplete returns.

No incumbent legislators in Benton nor Washington County districts lost in Tuesday's election.

Reps. David Whitaker and Nicole Clowney, both Democrats of Fayetteville, won reelection. So did Republican Reps. Robin Lundstrum of Elm Springs and Clint Penzo of Springdale.

Godfrey's opponent was Jed Duggar, son of former state Rep. Jim Bob Duggar, whose family starred in the reality show "19 Kids and Counting."

"I really was unsure because of all the variables," Godfrey said Tuesday night. "I was unsure about the covid. I was unsure because of his name recognition," among other factors.

Senate District 1

Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, is known in particular for his attempts to protect businesses from what he sees as over-regulation.

One of the reasons Ronetta Francis ran against him, she said, was to work to repeal a state law Hester backed that prevents city governments from passing civil rights laws to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and other traits.

Final, though unofficial, results from Benton and Washington counties are:

Hester ... 36,557 (65%)

Francis ... 19,646 (35%)

Bart Hester
Ronetta Francis

Senate District 2

Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, is the outgoing president of the Senate, a position traditionally held for only one Senate term. Ryan Craig is a first-time candidate who announced, but campaigned little.

Final though unofficial results from Benton and Washington counties are:

Hendren ... 32,593 (74%)

Craig ... 11,739 (26%)

Jim Hendren
Photo by Arkansas Secretary of State
Ryan Craig

House District 80

Rep. Charlene Fite, R-Van Buren, is chairwoman of the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs. She is known as an advocate for disadvantaged and at-risk youth.

Democratic challenger Lou Reed Sharp is a nurse, a business owner and advocate for rural development. The district includes parts of Washington and Crawford counties.

Final results from Washington County and partial Crawford County results on Tuesday are:

Fite ... 8,085 (70%)

Sharp ... 3,462 (30%)

Charlene Fite State Representative District 80 Republican
Lou Reed Sharp Democrat, State Representative District 80

House 85

Rep. David Whitaker, D-Fayetteville, is a four-term House member who is both a former House minority leader and, before politics, was an assistant city attorney for Fayetteville. Republican challenger Brian Hester is a brother of Sen. Bart Hester.

Final though unofficial results from Washington County are:

Whitaker ... 6,021 (55%)

Hester ... 4,948 (45%)

David Whitaker Democratic, State Representative District 85
Brian Hester

House 86

Rep. Nicole Clowney is a first-term House member known as the co-sponsor of the prefiled Hate Crimes bill for the next regular legislative session, which starts in January. Republican challenger John La Tour is a former member of the Fayetteville City Council who ran as a pro-business candidate.

Final though unofficial results from Benton and Washington are:

Clowney ... 5,443 (71%)

La Tour ... 2,208 (29%)

Rep. Nicole Clowney, D-Fayetteville, is shown in this photo.
John LaTour

House 87

Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs, is one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House. She has said she'd eliminate the property tax if she could. Michael Bennett-Spears is a Democrat in his first race. He criticized Lundstrum for policies that penalized employees too much while benefiting business.

Complete but unofficial votes released Tuesday from Benton and Washington counties are:

Lundstrum ... 10,453 (74%)

Bennett-Spears ... 3,738 (26%)

Robin Lundstrum Republican , State Representative District 87
Michael-Bennett Spears

House 88

Rep. Clint Penzo, R-Springdale, is known for his efforts to protect the region's minority population from exploitative adoption practices. Hawley Woods is a first-time candidate and Democrat who ran on the issue of providing better, less bewildering laws to ensure every Arkansan received adequate health care.

Final though unofficial results from Washington County are:

Penzo ... 4,498 (61%)

Woods ... 2,891 (39%)

Clint Penzo Republican , State Representative District 88
Hawley Woods Democratic, State Representative District 88

House 89

Godfrey, D-Springdale, provided Northwest Arkansas' biggest election shock in 2018 when she defeated the incumbent in a traditionally Republican downtown district.

This year, Republican challenger Jed Duggar ran as a more socially conservative and pro-business candidate. The district has historically had one of the lowest turnouts of any in the region. Tuesday was no exception.

Final though unofficial results from Washington County are:

Godfrey (D). . . 3,080 (56%)

Duggar (R) . . . 2,394 (44%)

Megan Godfrey
Jed Duggar

House 90

Republican Kendon Underwood ran as a more socially conservative and anti-tax alternative to incumbent Rep. Jana Della Rosa in the party's primary in March.

Kelly Krout is a a foster parent and children's book author in her first race. The Democrat described herself as a better-rounded candidate who would represent all the voters in the district.

Final, unofficial results from Benton County are:

Underwood ... 11,531 (63%)

Krout ... 6,863 (37%)

Kendon Underwood
Kelly Krout

House 91

Delia Haak is a local businesswoman, college professor and former chairwoman of the federal Illinois River Compact Commission between Arkansas and Oklahoma. She prevailed in both the Republican primary in March and a subsequent runoff election.

Nick Jones is a first-time candidate who is a substance abuse counselor who advocated treating the abuse as a health care issue. The two ran for the seat left vacant by Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, who didn't seek reelection.

Final, unofficial results from Benton County are:

Haak ... 13,408 (73%)

Jones ... 5,066 (27%)

Delia Haak
Photo by Arkansas Secretary of State
Nick Jones

House 93

Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, is a social conservative who ran on his record of pro-school choice and anti-abortion, along with his experience as legislator and leader of House Republicans.

Daisy Bonilla, his Democratic opponent, is a social worker who ran on expanding Medicaid and improving mental health care.

Final, unofficial results from Benton County are:

Dotson ... 10,368 (58%)

Bonilla ... 7,431 (42%)

Jim Dotson
Daisy Bonilla

House 94

Republican John Carr ran with the endorsement of outgoing Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers, who didn't seek reelection. He is a computer engineer and independent information technology consultant who ran on making government more efficient, holding down tax increases and favoring business.

Jene Huffman-Gilreath, the Democrat in the race, is a manager at Rogers Water Utilities. Although a Democrat, she formerly worked on the staff of then-U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark. She ran on meeting this growing region's infrastructure needs.

Final, unofficial results from Benton County are:

Carr ... 5,621 (55%)

Huffman-Gilreath ... 4,631 (45%)

John Carr
Jene Huffman-Gilreath

House 96

Republican Josh Bryant is a member of the Benton County Quorum Court and a contractor who ran as a pro-business candidate.

Jon Comstock is an attorney who owns a mediation services company and is a former circuit judge. He ran on providing alternatives to prison for drug offenses.

Final, unofficial results from Benton County are:

Bryant ... 7,798 (65%)

Comstock ... 4,292 (35%)

Josh Bryant
Jon Comstock

Print Headline: Legislative race results for Northwest Arkansas


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