FAYETTEVILLE -- Two veteran incumbents in the state House of Representatives, representing parts of Washington County, will remain the same in 2020, while two women were elected to judgeships for District Court and Circuit Court in the Nov. 3 general election.
Representing western Washington and Crawford counties, state Rep. Charlene Fite of Van Buren, who represents House District 80, easily defeated Lou Reed Sharp of Fayetteville, 10,470 to 4,019 in official returns from both counties.
Sharp, a Democratic challenger who ran against Fite in 2017, lost by a substantial margin. A Republican, Fite, who will serve her fifth term in 2021-2022, gathered in 72.26% of the total vote against Sharp's 27.74% of the ballots cast.
District 80 includes Prairie Grove, Lincoln, the western edge of Crawford County and the western edge of Washington County.
Sharp lost both Washington County and Crawford County by substantial numbers. Fite polled 85.64% of the Crawford County votes while also winning 68.84% of the Washington County votes cast in the race.
State Rep. David Whitaker of Fayetteville from House District 85, fended off a Republican challenger, Brain Hester, the brother of Benton County state Sen. Bart Hester.
Whitaker won re-election to the District 85 seat with 9,002 votes or 55.2 percent. Hester, who moved into the House District just 18 months ago, received 7,307 votes or 44.8 percent.
District 85 includes a portion of Fayetteville, much of Farmington and a small area of Prairie Grove.
In two non-partisan judicial races, Diane Warren, of Fayetteville, a child's advocate attorney, defeated Conrad Odom, in a runoff race for Circuit Court, District 4, and Division 8 – a new judgeship created by the Arkansas Legislature in 2019.
Warren received 47,323 votes, or 52.28%, of all votes cast in Washington and Madison counties. Odom, a Fayetteville lawyer, gained 43,195 votes or 47.72% in the losing effort.
Warren carried both Washington and Madison counties in the Judicial District race. This seat was created by the Legislature to assist in the juvenile cases in the two-county area.
In a runoff race for District Court, District 2, Division 4, in Washington County, Terra Stephenson, a lead prosecutor in the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney's office, defeated Mark N. Scalise, of Fayetteville, a private business attorney.
Stephenson, who led the four-candidate field last March, again led in the race, winning with 46,402 votes or 54% to Scalise's 40,402 votes or 46%. Stephenson received 49% of the vote in the March judicial contest, just shy of winning the seat outright.
Democratic candidate Vice President Joe Biden won Washington County's presidential race with 47,229 votes to President Donald J. Trump's 43,327 votes. Biden's 50.23% victory margin over Trump's 46.3% placed Washington County as one of only six counties in the state to go for the Democratic ticket.
Congressman Steve Womack carried Washington County gaining 49,705 votes or 53.4% against Democratic challenger Celeste Williams of Bentonville. Williams collected 39,437 votes or 43.4%.
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican seeking re-election, won with 49,251 votes or 53.4% over Libertarian challenger Ricky Dale Harrington of Pine Bluff, who received 42,739 votes or 46.5%.
Locally, 64.77% of the eligible voters cast ballots in Washington County in the Nov. 3 general election.