Fayetteville voters elected the incumbent mayoral candidate, cementing his third-term victory.
Mayor Lioneld Jordan won the election with 69.3 percent of the vote and 22,227 votes in the preliminary election results for Fayetteville.
"I feel very humbled at this moment that the people of of Fayetteville have put their trust in me for a third time,” Jordan said. “I appreciate them for allowing me to serve them."
For Rachel Moline, sophomore and president of Young Democrats, Jordan’s win can be attributed to the hard work he has done for Fayetteville.
“I think that he is the best candidate for this city,” Moline said. “He has had so much experience working with the people of this city as mayor for the past eight years. I think that he will continue to do great things for Fayetteville.”
Paula Marinoni, a member of Jordan’s campaign committee, also thinks that Jordan will continue to do a good job as mayor, she said.
"He's just such a wonderful mayor,” Marinoni said. “I don't think Fayetteville has ever had a mayor like him or ever will again. He embraces everyone and makes time for them.”
Jordan has been a resident of Fayetteville for almost 45 years, he said. Jordan’s family has lived in Northwest Arkansas since 1866, stretching across six generations, he said.
“In this city, we believe in taking care of one another,” Jordan said. “We believe in being a community. I love this city, and I always will.”
Under Jordan’s tenure, Fayetteville was the first city in the state to pass a Streamside Protection Ordinance, which is a measure that limits specific activities within 50 feet of local streams, so that harmful nutrients will be prevented from entering the waterways, according to the Ordinance.
"I have absolute faith in myself, the residents and the students, the future, to turn this whole thing around,” Jordan said. “To help lead us to a better day."
Fayetteville has been ranked the third-best place to live in the U.S. under Jordan’s tenure, according to the U.S. News & World Report in March 2016. Jordan believes that his focus on a partner-based government has contributed to this fact, he said.
“I believe that everyone is a partner in this city, no matter the color of their skin, religious beliefs or who they love,” Jordan said. “We move forward together.”
Jordan has spent his life fighting for equality, diversity and inclusion, as seen with his work in the Uniform Civil Rights Protection Ordinance, he said. Passed in 2015, this ordinance protects Fayetteville LGBT residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the Uniform Civil Rights Protection Ordinance. These rights were not previously granted in the Arkansas Civil Rights Act. This ordinance does not apply to churches, religious organizations and religious daycare facilities or schools.
“You can’t take a class of people and tell them they don’t belong, and then say you believe in equality,” Jordan said. “I want everybody to have a voice. Civil rights is about equality – not special rights.”
During his next four years in office, Jordan hopes to continue to maintain the economic engine of the city, protecting the environment and encourage social justice, he said.