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Deakins wins Washington County judge runoff

He will face Moody in November by Tom Sissom | June 22, 2022 at 8:31 a.m.
Janis Everett (right) of Washington County places her ballot in a ballot box Tuesday, June 21, 2022, with assistance from poll worker Jo Ann Sanders after voting in the primary runoff election at the West Fork Community Center. Visit nwaonline.com/220622Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Patrick Deakins won by 18 votes Tuesday night in his race for the Republican nomination for Washington County judge against Mark Scalise.

Final but unofficial results are:

Patrick Deakins2,623 (50%)

Mark Scalise2,605 (49%)

The results have not been certified.

Deakins faces Democrat Josh Moody in the November general election. Moody defeated Charles Ward in the May 24 Democratic Party primary.

Jennifer Price, Washington County's elections director, said there were four provisional ballots and one overseas absentee ballot still uncounted.

The Election Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday to review the provisional ballots.

Price said the overseas absentee ballot has to be returned by July 1 in order to be counted.

Price said there is no provision for an automatic recount in Arkansas elections. A candidate has 48 hours after the results are made public to ask for a recount.

Scalise finished first with 6,445 votes (32%) and Deakins was second with 4,657 votes (23%) in the May 24 Republican Party primary. Sharon Lloyd came in third with 4,189 votes (21%) and Tom Terminella was the fourth-place finisher with 3,814 votes (19%) in that race.

Since no candidate received a majority of the votes, the top two vote-getters advanced to the runoff.

County judges are the chief executive officers for Arkansas county governments, overseeing the road department and other departments and maintaining county courthouses and jails. County judges serve four-year terms. The Washington County judge's salary is $141,470 annually.

Deakins is a justice of the peace serving his second term on the Quorum Court. He said his first concern is to take care of county employees, including keeping pay and benefits competitive with the private sector. The Road Department has been constantly losing employees to private companies, he said. The Quorum Court recently approved a pay plan for Road Department employees, and Deakins said county government needs to monitor the department and others to ensure they don't fall behind.

Deakins also said the county has to decide how to handle crowding at the jail. He has also said he favors the expansion plan proposed by Helder, and the county should use federal money if possible to offset at least some of the cost.

Washington County voters also favored Gary Ricker over Aaron Wood in early voting to be the Republican Party nominee for justice of the peace for District 14.

Final but unofficial results are:

Aaron Wood242 (39%)

Gary Ricker335 (54%)

The Quorum Court is the legislative body of county government and is composed of 15 members called justices of the peace, who are elected to two-year terms. Democrats hold four of the seats, and Republicans hold 11.

Each justice of the peace represents a district of roughly equal population. Redistricting for justice of the peace seats took place late last year. District 14 includes Greenland, West Fork and Winslow along with much of rural southern Washington County.

Washington County justices of the peace are paid $200 per meeting for Quorum Court and committee meetings they attend.

The Republican party nominee will face Democrat Dawn Cannon in the November general election. The incumbent, Jim Wilson, ran for the District 23 seat in the state House of Representatives.

Gary Ricker retired as Greenland chief of police.

In the May 24 primary election, Daniel Hitchcock received 320 votes (14%), Wood received 509 votes (23%), Ricker received 731 votes (33%) and Nikki Lockett received 354 votes (16%).

Tom Sissom can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWATom.

photo Patrick Deakins
photo Gary Ricker
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Print Headline: Deakins defeats Scalise by 18 votes

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