DANVILLE, Ark. – The most competitive race in the Arkansas 2022 election was not for Senator or Governor, but for Mayor of Danville, Arkansas.
Danville’s mayoral race was decided by only a single vote.
148 people voted for Bill Gilkey and 147 voted for the incumbent of eight years, Phil Moudy.
When the polls closed, it looked like Gilkey was ahead by two votes, but a recount with additional absentee ballots required a six-day wait. Moudy said he needed all three absentee ballots to win, but only got two of the three.
Both candidates couldn’t believe how narrow the margin was.
“In my mind, I knew it was going to be close, but not this close”, Moudy said.
“I don’t think either one of us knew you know it was going be the difference of one vote,” Gilkey stated.
Gilkey said he campaigned all election day on the streets making sure people used their right to vote. Some neighbors admitted to having both campaign signs in their yard.
“We had two very qualified candidates running for the position which creates a unique situation,” Gilkey admitted.
Moudy described his mood as “disappointed”.
“I really expected to win,” Moudy said.
“It does bother me a little bit that we are in a town of about 2,400 people and only less than 300 went and voted in our race,” Gilkey said.
Moudy agreed with the mayor-elect. “Less than 300. Pretty sad. You know. Where was the turnout?” he asked.
Both men, despite being opponents during the race, hope the close vote will bring more engagement by voters in the future.
“If anything else comes out of this, people were able to see that their vote makes a difference,” Gilkey concluded.