Two Farmington Council Candidates Live in Wrong Ward

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Two Farmington City Council candidates filed for election in the wrong ward and might have to resign if elected, officials said Friday.

Amy Hutcherson and Elizabeth Mann are running for City Council seats in Tuesday’s election but filed in the wrong ward, said Melissa McCarville, city business manager.

Before the city approved new ward districts in June, the two lived in Ward 1. However, both now live in Ward 3, according to a news release from the city. They filed to run for office after the new ward districts were approved, McCarville said.

Washington County Clerk Karen Combs Pritchard said it is not her job to determine whether candidates know which district they live in when filing for office.

McCarville said it is unclear what would happen if the candidates are elected, but they might have to resign and replacements might have to be appointed. She said she did not know who would appoint replacements. McCarville said she has asked the Arkansas Municipal League what the process would be but had not received a reply by Monday.

Pritchard said it will probably be up to the Farmington city attorney or Arkansas secretary of state to decide what would occur if either candidate wins.

Hutcherson is running against incumbent Sherry Mathews in Ward 1, Positon 1, and Mann is running against incumbent Patsy Pike in Ward 1, Position 2.

Mann said Sunday City Hall confirmed she and Hutcherson were supposed to run in Ward  1. She said her husband is chairman of the planning commission and didn’t even know changes were made to the ward maps.

“I even searched the Farmington website for council meetings about the subject and found nothing,” she wrote in a Facebook message. “I plan on campaigning most of the day Tuesday because I do not intend to back down from this. This is the exact reason that Amy and I are running — inadequate city leadership!”

McCarville said the planning commissioners received information ahead of time about public meetings regarding the ward changes, and she noted the ward maps are on the city website under the Government tab in the City Council agendas and minutes section.