Know your choices
Mid-term elections are creeping up on us, slowly but surely. Historically, mid-term races have had much less participation than the presidential election. Most of us are excited to vote for (or against) a presidential candidate, but we rarely talk about the local races that affect us most.
This November, Carroll County residents will have a lot to consider at the voting booth. There are more contested races than Iíve seen since moving here in 2014, especially for a mid-term election.
In Green Forest, Jerry Carlton and Nestor Rivera are running for mayor, with three contested races for the Green Forest City Council. Joyce Varner Kolb, who was appointed to the council earlier this year, is being challenged by Jorge Diaz. Longtime alderwoman Pamela Norton is seeking re-election against challenger Marvin Emmons. Renee Gonzalez and Carol E. Smith are both seeking the seat currently held by alderman Tim Hatman, and alderwoman Willa Kerby is unopposed in her bid for re-election.
Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney is unopposed in his bid for an eighth term in office, while three of the four members of the Berryville City Council are running unopposed for re-election ó Cindy George, Max Nichols and Linda Riddlesperger. Jason C. Williams is unopposed in his bid for the remaining council seat, replacing longtime alderman Joel Gibson.
Eureka Springs features several contested races, with Theodore Cottingham, Mike Seals and incumbent Butch Berry running for mayor. Of the four contested races for the Eureka Springs City Council, two include incumbents seeking re-election. Longtime alderman Terry McClung is being challenged by Joyce Knowles, while incumbent Melissa Greene is facing two challengers, former alderman James DeVito and Sara Mayes. Eric Knowles and Harry Meyer are candidates for another council seat, while another seat is up for grabs between Caitlin Branaman and Susan Harman. Alderwoman Mickey Schneider and alderman Bob Thomas are unopposed in their re-election bids.
With so many choices, we are fortunate American Legion Post 9 is hosting a Meet the Candidates event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Eureka Springs City Auditorium. Candidates from all parties for federal, state and local government offices are invited to attend and take questions from the audience. I will be there to hear what everyone has to say, and I hope you attend, too!
When you walk into the voting booth, itís important to know who youíre voting for. We live in a rural area, but that doesnít mean we know all the candidates or what they stand for. Thatís why itís so important to have events like the one happening on Thursday.
Thanks to my job, Iím constantly learning new things and broadening my perspective. Iím giving all the candidates a clean slate, hoping to form an opinion based on what they have to say. No matter what happens, one thing is certain.
Iíll know who Iím voting for in November.
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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com