Roberts, Gustek appear en route to runoff in city treasurer’s race

UPDATED 1 a.m. with 100 precincts reporting — Roberts and Gustek go to a runoff. Totals: Roberts 7,144 (45 percent), Gustek 5,187 (32 percent), Franklin 3,655 (23 percent).

Former Pine Bluff Alderwoman Janice L. Roberts, a program director with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, and Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Greg Gustek appear to be headed to a Nov. 27 runoff for the Pine Bluff city treasurer’s post.

With 34 of 112 precincts reporting:

• Roberts was leading a three-candidate race with 6,842 votes, 45.5 percent of the total.

• Gustek polled 4,653 votes for a 30.94-percent share.

• Retired Arkansas State Police Capt. Lloyd A. Franklin Jr. was rounding out the field with 3,544 votes for 23.57 percent.

To have won the race outright, Roberts would have had to garner at least 40 percent of the total vote and be least 20 percentage points over the runner-up.

Roberts is an Arkansas Department of Workforce Services program manager. During her campaign, she touted her service on the city council and 25 years experience as an accountant. She said she has knowledge of laws applicable to the treasurer’s job.

Gustek, also executive director of the Pine Bluff Festival Association, served as city treasurer from 1998-2008. Treasurer of the Lake Saracen Project, Gustek had pointed out he was the only candidate with actual experience in the job. He said the treasurer shouldn’t work for the mayor or city, but rather for the taxpayers.

Franklin, a world-certified fraud examiner and member of the Arkansas State Board of Certified Public Accountants, had said that if elected, he would give “more than part-time service” in the post. Franklin said he would also conduct random tests of transactions for frauds within city departments, acting similarly to an “internal auditor for taxpayers.”