Republicans re-elect accused tax cheat; hold majorities in Arkansas legislature | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Republicans re-elect accused tax cheat; hold majorities in Arkansas legislature

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 7:20 AM

click to enlarge MICKEY GATES: Tax charges proved no disincentive to voters in his distrct.
  • MICKEY GATES: Tax charges proved no disincentive to voters in his distrct.

Arkansas legislative races showed no change in the sizable Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Republican victories included an easy win for Rep. MIckey Gates of Hot Springs, who faces multiple felony charges of failing to file and pay state income taxes.

Gates won 65 percent of the vote in defeating Kevin Rogers. Should he be convicted, he'll be ineligible to hold the office.

Elsewhere, the Democratic Party gained two seats — Denise Garner defeated Republican Rep. Charlie Collins in Fayetteville with a comfortable 55-45 percentage margin and Megan Godfrey edged Republican Rep. Jeff Williams of Springdale by 30 votes.

House Democratic Party Chair Michael John Gray of Augusta was defeated for re-election by Craig Christiansen by 98 votes. — 3,643-3,545. Rep. Scott Baltz of Pocahontas was defeated by Marsh Davis by 118 votes — 4,768-4,650.

Retired Judge Don Glover, a Democrat, won a  Southeast Arkansas house seat from incumbent Rep. Mark McElroy, who'd dropped his Democratic Party affiliation to run as an independent.

No changes in contested Senate races, though Sen. Jason Rapert could only garner 55 percent of the vote in his challenge by Maureen Skinner.

Democrats made numerous well-funded, well-organized races for Republican seats in Pulaski, Faulkner, Washington and Benton counties, but fell short in each one. The number running from 44 to 47 percent was high. But close doesn't count. Might it influence a slightly more moderate voting pattern from the challenged Republicans? Probably not.

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