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The many different ballots in Washington County for the Nov. 3 General Election include two non-partisan judicial races left over from the March elections and several state House of Representative races of interest.

Today the races for judicial runoffs and state Senate and state House of Representative races will be detailed.

Judicial Races

In all of the Washington County polling places (and also a few scattered precincts in Benton County along the Washington-Benton County line) a District 2, Division 4 District judgeship is in a runoff.

Terra Stephenson of Fayetteville, a long-time prosecutor in the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney's office, will face Mark N. Scalise, a business attorney who has returned to NW Arkansas after having practiced business and corporate law in Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

Stephenson led the non-partisan judicial race ticket back in March in a field of three candidates, with over 49% of the vote, but failed to garner 51% of the vote to win outright.

Circuit Court Race runoff

Also in Washington and Madison County's Circuit Courts, a runoff for the newly created 8th Division of the 4th Judicial District, pits two Fayetteville attorneys, Diane Warren and Conrad Odom, who are in a runoff left over from March. The winner will be the new circuit judge with a position within the Juvenile Court System.

State Senate Races

A few Washington County ballots in the Springdale area will feature the race for State Senate District 1, between incumbent State Senator Bart Hester of Centerton and Ronette Frances of Rogers.

Also only in the far reaches of Washington County, near Cincinnati and Lincoln, will the State Senate District 2 race between incumbent state Senator Jim Hendren of Gravette and Ryan Craig of Siloam Springs appear before voters.

For clarification, not all of Arkansas' 35 state Senate seats are up for election in the 2020 cycle. Republican state Senator Lance Eads of Springdale is up for re-election and is unopposed for District 7. In Senate District 4, Democrat state Senator Greg Leding is not up for re-election in 2020.

State House Races

Of the nine state House Districts, which involve Washington County voters, seven of those House districts have active races on the ballot.

Only GOP state Rep. Bruce Coleman, of Mountainburg, in House District 81 and state Rep. Denise Garner, of Fayetteville, a Democrat, in House Dist. 84, are unopposed in 2020.

State Rep. Charlene Fite, a Republican, faces Democratic challenger Lou Reed Sharp in House Dist. 80. Sharp lost to Fite in 2018 with less than 30% of the vote. Fite is a four-term incumbent in the large district encompassing the western edges of Crawford and Washington counties.

In District 85, incumbent Democrat Rep. David Whitaker, of Fayetteville, faces first-time challenger Brain Hester, a Republican. Whitaker is seeking his 5th term as a House member.

In District 86, incumbent Democrat Rep. Nicole Clowney of Fayetteville is being challenged by former city Councilman John LaTour of Fayetteville. After losing a re-election bid for city council, LaTour enters the state House race in District 86 as a Republican.

In District 87, incumbent Republican Robin Lundstrum of Springdale will face Democrat Michael Bennett-Spears. Lundstrum is a former Elm Springs City Council member and is seeking her fourth term in the House.

In District 88, incumbent Rep. Clint Penzo, a Republican of Tontitown, will face Democratic newcomer Hawley Woods, also of Tontitown. This will be Penzo's first opposition as he runs for his third term.

In District 89, incumbent Megan Godfrey, a Democrat from Springdale, will face re-election opposition from political newcomer, Jed Duggar, a Republican, also from Springdale. Godfrey is a teacher in the Springdale Schools. Duggar is a member of the politically active Duggar clan who lives near Tontitown.

Next week: Who is on the ballot for President, U.S. Senate and 3rd District Congress.

--Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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