VAN BUREN, Ark. — Crawford County voters hit the polls Tuesday, May 24, but three races did not yield an outright winner.
On June 21, residents will once again be asked to cast their vote in three separate runoff elections. The Crawford County Clerk, County Judge and County Sheriff races will all be decided in just under a month's time.
Campaigns will continue for Stacey Shelley and Tim Walker for Crawford County Clerk. Chris Keith and Raymond Harvey are seeking the position of County Judge.
One of the more anticipated races is for Crawford County Sheriff as current Sheriff Jimmy Damante was not up for reelection. The vote will now come down to Van Buren Police Captain Daniel Perry and Mulberry Chief of Police, Shannon 'Pudge' Gregory.
Crawford County Election Commission Chairman, Bill Coleman said Tuesday, May 24, that primary elections are just as important to vote in as the November general election. Wednesday, Coleman reiterated how important it is for voters to once again make it to the polls next month.
"If you did not vote in the primary, then it's a good time to come and vote in the runoff because that's going to make the decisions on three of those county races this time around," said Coleman. "None of those have an opponent in the fall, so that position will be determined in the primary in June."
All three winners will run unopposed with no Democratic candidate, securing victory in their respective runoff races.
In the race for Crawford County Clerk, Stacey Shelly led the voting on Tuesday with 43% of the vote, while Tim Walker was close behind with 38% of the votes.
The Crawford County Judge election was a bit further apart as Chris Keith earned 46% of the vote and Raymond Harvey finished with 31%.
Shifting focus to the Crawford County Sheriff race, four candidates were in the running for the position. Daniel Perry received 35% of the total tally and Shannon 'Pudge' Gregory narrowly beat out James Mirus with 28% compared to Mirus' 25% tally.
As Perry and Gregory now focus on hitting the campaign trail once again, both are looking forward to connecting with more residents of Crawford County.
Perry says if elected, his administration will focus more on community service. "I want to be transparent. I want to be reachable. I want them to know that if they've got issues, they've got concerns, they're able to reach out and talk to me. I'm there for them. I'm serving them and so, I want them to understand and know that I'm there for them."
Gregory's campaign has been aimed at a 'people's sheriff's office' and he hopes to continue that heading into the runoff election.
"I'm here for the people. That's the way we were trained under previous administrations at the Sheriff's Office. We want to be the people's sheriff's office. We want them to know they can come and trust us, we want to be transparent, we want to be everything that the people want the Sheriff's Department to be," said Gregory.
Election Commission Chairman Bill Coleman did report a small hiccup with absentee voter tallies not being counted right away Tuesday night, but the issue was resolved quickly and no further issues are expected for June's runoff.
You can learn more about Daniel Perry and his campaign by visiting his Facebook here.
Shannon 'Pudge' Gregory's campaign Facebook can be found here.
For more information on the Arkansas Primary 2022 Election, 5NEWS has all the details here.
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