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Flynn defeats Murray to become next Bella Vista mayor

by Bennett Horne | December 7, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.
Bella Vista mayoral candidates Steve Bourke (from Left) and Randy Murray listen to John Flynn answer a question Oct. 3 during a mayoral forum held at the Lake Point Restaurant and Event Center in Bella Vista. Flynn won Tuesday's runoff election against Murray to become the city's next mayor. (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/Spencer Tirey)

BELLA VISTA -- Bella Vista City Council member John D. Flynn survived a runoff against Randy Murray to win election Tuesday night as only the third mayor in the history of the city.

Complete but unofficial results for the position are:

Flynn^2,754 (52%)

Murray^2,514 (48%)

Flynn will take over as mayor, replacing Peter Christie, who served two terms as mayor of Bella Vista.

In the Nov. 8 general election, Murray received 6,173 votes (44.46%) and Flynn 4,413 (31.78%). The third candidate in the race, Steven Bourke, picked up 3,298 votes (23.75%).

During a candidate forum in October, Flynn said his top priority would be "to be fiscally conservative," adding that he believes it's important "to keep the costs low" where city government is concerned.

"Our revenue is pretty good, but it's not like Nike shoes where you sell 100,000 shoes and next year we'll sell a million shoes and have all this more money," he said. "Even if we increase our business and get a little more sales tax it's only going to be incremental. It's not going to be some spectacular amount. So it's essential that you don't spend too much money. If you get over your skis and get behind financially, it's very hard to dig out because you just don't have the revenue to do it."

During that forum, Flynn also said his vision of Bella Vista includes having "a small hotel and a few more restaurants" but he added he believes "it's really important to preserve the lakes and trees, our natural beauty. That's what people like here, a nice environment. That's absolutely crucial."

He also said he would like to see "a charter school on the west side" while working to increase broadband access throughout the city.

The three Bella Vista City Council races for Position 2 seats from each of the city's three wards were also decided by Tuesday night runoffs.

Wendy Hughes, with 2,586 votes (52%), defeated Donna Hutchinson, with 2,366 (48%), in the Ward 1 race while incumbent council member Larry Wilms retained his Ward 2 seat by recording 2,521 votes (53%) to challenger Wynn Peterson's 2,244 (47%). Craig Honchell, who currently serves on the Bella Vista Planning Commission, won the Ward 3 race with 2,601 votes (54%) to Julie A. Yandell's 2,174 (46%).

Print Headline: Flynn wins runoff for Bella Vista mayor


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