Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TOP STORY >>New sheriff is elected

Ricky Shourd, a Searcy police officer, will be the new White County sheriff, but the area his deputies will have to patrol will be a little smaller than his predecessor’s since the Beebe annexation on the ballot that took in county land to more than double the size of the city won overwhelmingly.

Shourd, a Republican, won easily over Pat Garrett, the Democratic incumbent in the three-man race that also included independent candidate Edward Thornton. The unofficial results in that race were Shourd, 11,791; Garrett, 7,501, and Thornton, 1,590. Inside Beebe, the vote for annexation was 920 to 510. Outside the city, the vote was 38 to 143 for a total of 958 for annexation and 548 against.

The race for White County judge is not over. None of the three candidates took more than 50 percent of the votes, though Michael Lincoln, the Republican candidate and the only one who is new to politics came out ahead. He will face Independent candidate Dennis Gillam in the runoff election Nov. 28.

“I’m pleased I got the most votes in the general. That’s a good lead going into the runoff,” Lincoln said. The count in that race was Lincoln 7,723; Gillam, 6,676, and Waylon Heathscott, D., 6,509. Former Beebe Mayor Mike Robertson got his old job back, but he ran unopposed since Mayor Donald Ward decided to retire. Ward had defeated previously defeated Robertson, who later became an alderman.

In other Beebe election contests, Carol Crump-Westergren defeated Estela Gomez for clerk / treasurer, 866 to 531. Crump is a banker and a former member of the city council. Gomez is an assistant to the current clerk / treasurer. There will be a runoff for the Ward 3, Position 1 seat on the city council between John D. Johnson and Garland Kirkpatrick. In that three-way race, Johnson received the most votes, while Hermon Blackmon came in third. The vote in that race was Johnson 501; Kirkpatrick, 481, and Blackmon, 412.

The mayor of McRae gets to keep his job. Robert “Bob” Sullivan defeated David Newman, 175 to 43. Searcy Mayor Belinda LaForce’s future is not so secure. LaForce, the Democrat in the three-way race, received 42.38 percent of the votes, coming in second to Dale Brewer, who received 43.57 percent. The vote was LaForce, 2,494; Brewer, 2,564, and Philip R. Williams, 827.