Three polling sites open in Fayetteville for special City Council election

Richard Berquist of Fayetteville prepares to vote Monday during the early voting period for a special election at the Washington County Clerk's office in the county courthouse in Fayetteville. The election is to fill an open seat for Ward 1 Position 1 on the Fayetteville City Council that was vacated by the departure of Sonia Harvey in June. Visit for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Election Day to pick a new Ward 1 representative is today.

David Phillips, Katy Sager, S Robert Smith and Bob Stafford are competing for the Position 1 seat vacated by Sonia Harvey in June. Harvey moved out of the ward because she couldn't find a home her family could afford.

Phillips, 61, is a deputy city attorney in Springdale. Sager, 46, is general counsel for Natural State Title in Springdale. Smith, 68, is a retired avionics engineer. Stafford, 57, is an artist and co-owner of Blue Star Business Services.

Early voting began Nov. 7. A total of 339 people voted early in the special election; Monday was the highest turnout day with 129 voters, according to the Washington County Election Commission.

Ward 1 has 12,533 registered voters.

The voting centers below will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today:

Cornerstone Church of Christ, 4377 Huntsville Road.

Genesis Church, 205 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Yvonne Richardson Community Center, 240 E. Rock St.

Ward 1 covers most of the southern part of the city, including 15th Street, South School Avenue, Huntsville Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Notable landmarks include Walker Park, Lake Sequoyah, Kessler Mountain Regional Park, Fayetteville High School and Ramay Junior High School.

City Council members serve four-year terms and earn $16,214 per year. The positions are nonpartisan. Only voters who live within a candidate's ward can vote in the special election. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Harvey's term, which ends Dec. 31, 2026.

A runoff election, if needed, will be Dec. 12. A runoff in a municipal election is required when no candidate gets more than 40% of the vote. Even then, the next closest candidate must get a share of the total vote that is within 20% of the leader's share.

  photo  (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)