PARAGOULD, Ark. – In a race that has seen tensions go far beyond a reasonable level, Marmaduke Police Chief Steve Franks narrowly defeated Greene County Sheriff David Carter Tuesday night.
With absentee and provisional ballots still being counted, Franks stood at 5,468 votes to Carter’s 5,390. A mere 78 votes separated the race where over 10,000 voted.
As the final numbers were being tabulated, Carter conceded in front of reporters in the courthouse to Sheriff-elect Franks.
Franks will be sworn into office on January 1, 2019.
Early voting was above past election years and when the first tallies were release, they showed Carter with a slight lead, at 3,097 to Franks 2,992. However, as more votes were counted, Franks inched closer and closer and eventually, took the lead.
As we reported, the race saw tensions reach a fever pitch. Former employees of Carter spoke out alleging he made politically motivated drug busts to try to win support in the community. Signs were torn down on both sides. An Arkansas constable even threatened an officer who spoke out on Facebook about the sheriff – a story we are working on to publish this week.
Ultimately, every vote truly did count.
(As provisional/absentee numbers are finalized, we will update this story)