Voter Guide | Ballot Issues, Benton County Legislative Races Set for Nov. 3 General Election

Posted by: Justin Freeman on Friday, October 2, 2020

On Election Day, you decide more than who will represent you. You also vote whether to approve or reject new state laws and proposed changes to the Arkansas Constitution. This includes Ballot Issue One, continuing a one-half percent sales and use tax dedicated to funding the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s construction and maintenance of state highways and bridges, county roads, city streets and bridges, and other surface transportation important for economic growth.

Rearranged candidate filing deadlines, Primary Election dates being moved up to improve Arkansas’s standing in the Presidential Election, and a Primary Runoff Election during Spring Break, along with the implementation of COVID-19 safety measures to protect voters at the polls, have made for a long election season in Arkansas.

Early voting for the November 3 General Election in Arkansas begins October 19. There are nine contested races for the Arkansas House and Senate in Benton County. Six of those House and Senate races are in districts that include parts of Rogers and Lowell.

Newcomers to the House for Rogers and Lowell
Retiring legislators and an incumbent defeat in the Republican Primary have paved the way for political newcomers to take office in four of the six House Districts in Rogers and Lowell. Representatives Rebecca Petty (94), Dan Douglas (91), and Grant Hodges (96) did not seek re-election. Incumbent Representative Jana Della Rosa (90) was defeated by her challenger in a Republican Primary Runoff election. Representative Jim Dotson (93) will be the most senior member of the House delegation from Benton County if re-elected in November.

Incumbent Faces Challenge in Senate District 1
Senator Bart Hester has drawn a General Election opponent for the first time since he was elected to the District 1 seat in 2012. Democratic candidate Ronetta Francis is challenging the Senator and Real Estate Developer from Cave Springs. Francis is an attorney whose career brought her to Northwest Arkansas, where she worked as a Senior Associate General Counsel and an Ethics and Compliance Executive at Walmart. She is a currently a consultant, and lives in Rogers.

2018 Election Reruns
Jene Huffman-Gilreath is running for the House of Representatives in District 94. She first ran against Representative Rebecca Petty in 2018, who did not seek re-election this time. Kendon Underwood is running for the House in District 90 after defeating the incumbent, Representative Jana Della Rosa in the runoff election. Mr. Underwood lost to Della Rosa in 2018.

Passage of Issue One Vital for the Growth of Rogers and Northwest Arkansas
A vote for Issue One on the ballot will make permanent the ½ cent sales tax currently dedicated to funding for the Arkansas Department of Transportation to construct and maintain Arkansas’s Highways. Benton County voters approved the passage of the ½ cent in the 2012 Election. The funds from the ½ cent have helped fund the widening and interchange improvements to I-49 in Benton County, among other important projects for the region. The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce supports the passage of Issue One.

Voting in Benton County
Early voting begins in Benton County on October 19. No excuse absentee ballots will also be offered to voters due to safety concerns related to the Covid-19 virus. Completed absentee ballots must be received by the Benton County Clerk by the close of polls on Election Day.

-You can view a list of early voting locations here

-Find Election Day vote center locations here

-View a sample of your ballot here

Remember, October 5 is the last day to register to vote for the November 3 General Election.

Ballot Issues Explained
The Public Policy Center of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture produces an excellent guide to Arkansas Ballot Issues. You can find it here.

Legislative Candidate Forums
The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce conducted Candidate Forums for all the legislative races in Rogers and Lowell. These forums were very successful in reaching a large audience by broadcasting live on the Chamber’s Facebook page and recording them for the Chamber Voice of Business Podcast. Listen to the recorded forums here.

Who is Running for Office in Benton County?
You can view a copy of the list of candidates running for office in Benton County here.

Don’t forget that early voting begins on October 19 for the November 3 General Election. The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce encourages you to vote. Please contact Jon Moran, Vice President of Government Affairs, at (479) 636-1240 or jon@rogerslowell.comif you need more information.


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