Steps are being taken to resolve the tie that took place in the June 19 primary runoff election in Crawford County.
Debbie Atwell, chairwoman of the Crawford County Republican Party, said the party has until July 28 to select and certify a nominee for the Crawford County District 3 justice of the peace position. Both candidates for the position during the runoff election, Republicans Chase Hall DeCroo and Jim Atchison, won 35 votes, according to certified results provided by the Crawford County Clerk's Office.
Atwell said the selection and certification will be accomplished through a county convention.
“The county convention consists of the members who ... filed and were nominated for membership in the county committee, and we actually had our county conventions on June 25, and so all of the members from Crawford County who filed as members of the committee or for positions under the Republican Party in the county are members of our convention,” Atwell said. "We just recessed that convention, and it can be recalled by the chairman for the purpose of taking care of this nomination. So we will reconvene the convention, and then we will decide how we want to fill the vacancy."
Atwell said there are certain questions that need to be determined by the convention: who will be nominated and who is going to vote.
"So we'll take care of those decisions and that process during the convention," Atwell said.
The convention will be held at the Crawford County Republican Party headquarters at 620 B Main St., Atwell said. Atwell has an executive committee meeting Monday at 7 p.m. to look at dates and try to set the date. A 10-day notice will be given prior to the convention.
Bill Coleman, chairman of the Crawford County Election Commission, said Tuesday the commission certified the results for the election on June 29 as a tie vote. The commission then forwarded that certification on to the county clerk's office and the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office.
“My understanding, the procedures are that the Secretary of State’s Office will then notify the governor of the tie, and at that point in time, the governor will declare a vacancy in nomination and send that letter back to the local county party chairman, or chairwoman in this case,” Coleman said. “And then … the Crawford County Republican Committee will at that point in time, I believe, decide to either hold a special primary election, or hold a special convention to select the nominee for that position.”
Danielle Fusco, spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office, said via email Thursday the office received the certification of the election results June 29. Gov. Asa Hutchinson was notified about the tie that same day.
Atwell said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb received a vacancy in nomination letter from Hutchinson dated Tuesday. She received the letter Thursday.