Johnson Wins Local Republican Party Chairmanship

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Lance Johnson defeated Ralph Hudson on Tuesday (Sept. 10) to win the chairmanship of the Washington County Republican Committee.

Ninety local party members cast ballots in the 7 p.m. meeting at the GuestHouse Hotel in Fayetteville, said Julie Harris, former interim chairwoman.

Party officials declined to reveal the final-vote tally.

Johnson, pictured at right in this photo by 5NEWS moments after winning the election, is a Springdale resident and president of Lance Johnson Building Co.

Hudson, also a Springdale resident, is a paralegal and vice executive director of the political action committee Conservative Arkansas.

At a campaign event Aug. 7 at Neal’s Cafe in Springdale for Rep. Tom Cotton’s U.S. Senate race, Harris told 5NEWS she would not seek the local party’s elected leadership post, deciding instead to help direct Republican Robin Lundstrum’s state House campaign.

Harris said the party chairman cannot take a campaign role supporting one Republican over another in a primary election. Republican Lucas Roebuck is challenging Lundstrum for the open House District 87 seat.

Harris recently became interim chairwoman when Jeff Williams stepped down from the position.

Williams, who also serves as Washington County assessor, told 5NEWS he resigned from the party position in part because of GOP rules prohibiting a chairman from supporting one Republican over another during a primary.

Williams has since announced he is running for Washington County judge.

Before resigning, Williams had a year and a couple of months left as local GOP chairman, he said.