CITY HALL: Races to govern there are shaping up.

Filing for seats on the Little Rock City Board closed today with a five-way race for mayor and a nine-way race for Ward 1 on the Board.

UPDATE: City Clerk Susan Langley has provided the final filings. Late arrivals included Glen Schwarz, a perennial candidate, who completed the required signature gathering today.

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Schwarz joins Baker Kurrus, Warwick Sabin, Frank Scott Jr. and Vincent Tolliver in the race to succeed retiring Mayor Mark Stodola. All five participated in a forum with real estate people yesterday.

Other races:

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Ward 1

Incumbent Erma Hendrix, 88, has opposition from Ted Adkins, Herbert Broadway, Bryan Frazier, Greg Henderson, Ronnie Jackson, Curtis Johnson, Danny Lewis and Robert Webb.

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Ward 2

Incumbent Ken Richardson has opposition from Rohn Muse, Shalonda Riley and Valerie Tatum.

Ward 3

Incumbent Kathy Webb is unopposed.

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Ward 5

Incumbent Lance Hines is unopposed.

Ward 6

Incumbent Doris Wright has opposition from Sandy Becker, Vicki Hatter and Russ Racop.

Ward 7

Incumbent B.J. Wyrick has opposition from Edmond Davis, Matthew McFadden and Robert Williams.

UPDATE:

City Clerk Susan Langley pointed me to a state statute that seemed to indicate candidates must receive 40 percent of the votes to win a race with more than two candidates without a runoff.

But I also asked City Attorney Tom Carpenter, and got this definitive answer, which will be particularly important in the city board races with many candidates:

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In Little Rock the 40 percent requirement is only for the office of Mayor. It does not apply to any of the director positions. If no one gets 40 percent in the mayor’s, the top two candidates are in a runoff.

All of the other positions – whether district (ward) or at-large – are elected by plurality. That is, the candidate with the most votes wins. In that Ward 1 race, a candidate could conceivably win with only 15 percent of the vote.

Carpenter said he recalled the thinking of those in the city who backed this for Little Rock wanted the mayor to be supported by a substantial, if not majority, of voters but wanted the system for other offices not automatically preclude minority candidates.