Parks wins Democratic nomination; Fulfer, Unger headed to GOP runoff in Senate District 7 race

Lisa Parks, Colby Fulfer and Steve Unger

Lisa Parks defeated Derek Van Voast for the Democratic nomination, but a runoff will determine the GOP candidate in the Feb. 8 special election to fill the vacant state Senate District 7 seat.

Parks received 84% of the primary vote with 722 votes cast in her favor. Van Voast received 16%.

In the GOP primary, Colby Fulfer will face Steve Unger in a Jan. 11 runoff election to decide the final Republican nominee. Fulfer received 47% of the vote, while Unger took 32%.

Jim Bob Duggar, whose son Josh last week was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography, finished in third place in the GOP primary with 15% of the vote. A fourth Republican candidate, Robert “Edge” Nowlin, received 6%.

Parks is a child welfare attorney who ran in 2014 against 4th District Circuit Judge Stacey Zimmerman. Fulfer is chief of staff for Springdale’s city government and a former member of the Springdale City Council. Unger is a retired U.S. Navy captain.

There were 3,830 total votes cast out of the 45,006 registered voters in the district, according to the Washington County Election Commission. That equates to a 8.5% voter turnout.

The race will determine who replaces Sen. Lance Eads, R-Springdale, who resigned in October.

Senate District 7 includes a small portion of northeast Fayetteville. The remainder of the district includes most of Springdale and Johnson, along with Elkins, Goshen and southern Tontitown.

Final, unofficial results are:

Democratic Primary
Lisa Parks – 722 (84%)
Derek Van Voast – 136 (16%)

Republican Primary
Colby Fulfer – 1,387 (47%)
Steve Unger – 941 (32%)
Jim Bob Duggar – 456 (15%)
Robert “Edge” Nowlin – 188 (6%)