Elections draw 11% of voters
CARROLL COUNTY -- This year's school board elections brought out voters to decide the fate of candidates vying for positions in five contested races.
Included were three candidates running for school board positions as a "slate" who won in Eureka Springs, unseating two incumbents in the process.
Across the river in Berryville, two new board members won their seats, unseating one incumbent.
Green Forest School District voters didn't have any contested races. A total of 13 ballots were cast during absentee and early voting to confirm the unchallenged choices.
According to unofficial election results, nearly eight percent of Berryville School District voters turned out to elect Rick Clark to the At Large Position 1 seat. Both he and John Hutchcroft were seeking the position held by Jack Edens, who chose not to seek a repeat term. Clark captured 229 votes to Hutchcroft's 132.
Also in Berryville, Kristi Howerton unseated incumbent Joe Ward for the At Large Position 2 seat. Howerton won with 234 votes to Ward's 149.
With the victory, Howerton will join four other females at the board table: Sharon Ary, Vonda Bailey, Shannon Hill and Lydia King. Clark will be the lone male on the board, joined at the table by Superintendent Randy Byrd.
In Eureka Springs, 13 percent of its district voters turned out to elect Charles Templeton to the Position 1 seat with 458 votes, or 66.18 percent, over opponents David Blankenship, with 183 votes, or 26.45 percent, and Tori Sue Bush, with 51 votes, or 7.37 percent.
For Position 2, Albert J. Larson trounced incumbent school board president Charles "Rusty" Windle with 484 votes, or 69.24 percent, over Windle's 215 votes, or 30.76 percent.
In the Position 7 race, Sam Kirk had the strongest showing, at 496 votes, or 71.68 percent, unseating incumbent Kristie Bunch-Drebenstedt, at 196 votes, or 28.32 percent.
In Green Forest, both candidates ran unopposed, so no election was held, but through early and absentee voting Dianna Raye Sturtz received five votes and Kenny Bonham two votes.
Of the 9,783 registered voters in the county, 1,107 went to the polls in this election, representing a little more than 11 percent. The election process went smoothly, say election officials, with results released at 8:29 p.m., less than one hour after polls closed. Election results are "unofficial," they say, until they can be certified. That is expected to take place at the next election commission meeting, set for 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the county clerk's office in Berryville.