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Two new Democrats to join Sebastian County Quorum Court after election

by Monica Brich | November 9, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Jean Ann Sadler (left), a poll worker, distributes an “I voted” sticker to a voter Tuesday at the Creekmore Park Community Center in Fort Smith. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

FORT SMITH -- Election results are in for the Sebastian County Quorum Court districts 10 and 11, which cover a majority of Fort Smith.

Complete but unofficial results show Democrat Dickie Robertson winning against Republican James Higginbotham in the District 10 race.

Robertson 189 (62%)

Higginbotham 114 (38%)

Similarly, complete but unofficial results show Democrat Jerry Ward winning against Libertarian Zach Mulson in the District 11 race.

Ward 157 (57 %)

Mulson 117 (43%)

Sebastian County justice of the peace positions are two-year terms with an annual salary of $6,813, according to the county.

District 10 consists of a portion of Fort Smith north of Park Avenue and south of North O Street, as well as an adjacent portion between North Albert Pike Avenue and North 50th Street that juts north to Windsor Drive, according to a map provided by the county.

Neither Robertson or Higginbotham faced opposition in the May 24 primary election.

Robertson currently serves on the Quorum Court, and is general manager of Armored Transport Service and co-owner of On The Border Trike Shop in Fort Smith, as well as a retired pastor.

Robertson said if reelected, he would work to help finish proposed projects the Quorum Court has discussed funding with money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. This includes projects to upgrade the county Health Department and address crowding issues at the county jail.

The county was allocated $24.8 million for covid-19 pandemic relief.

"Some of that money can be used for general operations, but some of it is for special projects, and there's a lot of limitations put on us as to how that money is to be spent by the federal government," Robertson said.

District 11 includes a majority of downtown Fort Smith along Garrison, Rogers, Towson and Wheeler avenues, along with other properties close to these major streets, according to a map provided by the county.

Mulson is a reload supervisor at United Parcel Service in Fort Smith. He said one of his major policies would be to ensure the budget documents included in the packets for Quorum Court meetings use visual tools like pie charts and bar graphs to make it easier for taxpayers to understand where county money is going. He would work to make the packets themselves easier to read and understand as well.

Mulson said he would address criminal justice reform by working to improve and maintain the current county jail, as well as reduce its incarceration rate, rather than build a new one. Mulson is also in favor of giving county Sheriff's Office deputies higher salaries over adding more deputies.

Ward retired in 2017 after about 45 years of working in marketing and real estate.

Ward said, if elected, he would prioritize the Quorum Court working with local school boards to be an advocate for excellence in education. He argued strong education is necessary to make Sebastian County attractive to potential companies looking to move, which would spur on economic development.

Print Headline: Democrats win Sebastian County seats


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