Parks Wins District 7 Democratic Primary, Republicans Face Runoff

A special primary runoff election is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022

Afrolatina casts vote at the polls

The residents of Senate District 7 are one step closer to electing their new representative. Lisa Parks defeated Derek Van Voast in the Democratic primary yesterday. Voters cast 722 ballots for Parks and 136 for Van Voast, according to unofficial results from the Washington County Election Commission.

Securing more than 84 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary affirms that Northwest Arkansans “are all about family,” Parks said in a statement.

“I joined this race to put our children and grandchildren before everything else,” she said. “I am just so grateful. Thank you for trusting me. We will not let this community down.” 

Following the election results, Van Voast posted a video to social media congratulating Parks as well as announcing his intention to launch an independent party.

“We’re going to form an independent party here and we’re going to keep people engaged and we’re going to drive forward,” he said. “I believe we can do it.”

Lisa Parks
Lisa Parks
Derek Van Voast
Derek Van Voast

On the Republican side, Colby Fulfer and Steve Unger are headed to a runoff. Of the 2,972 votes cast in the Republican primary, Fulfer received 1,387 votes while Unger received 941. 

“We knew that the probability of a runoff was very high, but we did not anticipate getting above 40 percent,” Fulfer said in a social media post this morning. “Forty-seven percent exceeded all expectations and we are so grateful for your support.”

Colby Fulfer
Colby Fulfer
Steve Unger
Steve Unger

While Fulfer received 46.7 percent of the vote, Unger earned 31.7 percent, according to unofficial results. 

“Thank you for your support, everyone,” Unger said in a statement. “We are moving full force ahead and are headed to a runoff election in January.”

The special primary runoff election is Jan. 11, 2022. The winning Republican candidate will face Democrat Lisa Parks in the special election Feb. 8, 2022. The winner will serve the remainder of former Senator Lance Eads’ term. He resigned from the legislature Oct. 28 to take a job with a consulting firm.

Antoinette Grajeda
Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is Editor-in-Chief of Arkansas Soul, the host of the Affirmative Action podcast and a Northwest Arkansas-based journalist. She has covered race, culture, politics, health, education and the arts in Arkansas for nearly 15 years.