Jordan beats Coody in Fayetteville mayoral runoff
By: Miles Bryant
The cards hit the table last Tuesday in the mayoral runoff between alderman Lioneld Jordan and incumbent Dan Coody. While most non-local students were packing bags and heading home, the city of Fayetteville changed its mayor for the next four years.
Jordan won the runoff election with a total of 5,796 votes, 57 percent, opposed to Coody's 4,319 votes, 42.7 percent.
"I'm excited and I'm humble all at the same time," Jordan said. "The first thing I'm going to do is meet all of the department heads, look at all the staff in January and get an idea of who's doing what."
Jordan is a fifth-generation Arkansan who went to high school in Madison County, and he has lived in Fayetteville for more than 30 years.
Jordan's blue and white campaign signs were titled with the slogan "Experience you can trust." And he often emphasized true open-door policies.
For 26 years, Jordan has been working with UA Facilities Management, and he has often expressed his love for the university and its students. For the past seven years, Jordan has been an alderman, and was elected vice mayor by the City Council for the past four years.
Throughout the campaign, Jordan said he wanted to bring town hall to the people and hear from the students. He has fought for student involvement, and has said that the first town hall meeting will be open-mic and hosted at the UA.
Coody, originally from Texas, moved to Fayetteville in 1987 and has been involved in city politics since. He was elected to the City Council in 1991 and first ran for mayor in 1992 but lost to Fred Hanna. However, he ran again and took office in 2001.
The Coody mayoral campaign ran with the slogan "Let's keep a good thing going" crossed along the top of his green and yellow campaign signs, and he often encouraged voters to look at his accomplishments as mayor. He emphasized the importance of arts in Fayetteville, and he was encouraged to look for a singer-songwriter festival he thought could compete with many of the music festivals in the area.
Since 2001, Coody has stacked a list of accomplishments, including hiring a sustainability coordinator to encourage environmental care, putting sustainable policies into the city government and creating a trail system for alternative transportation that he wants all students will use.
Though Coody has spent eight years in office, he will return to a normal life in January, when Jordan will take the reins as Fayetteville mayor.
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