New North Little Rock mayor says race "bruised" city

Election season is over but it seems the effects of a razor tight race still linger. Joe Smith, who will take office as the new mayor of North Little Rock says, something needs to be done to begin the healing process after such a heated race.

"I was glad that Joe Smith won because I thought he was the best candidate," said Olivia Austin, of North Little Rock.

For the first time in nearly 25 years North Little Rock residents finally voted in a new mayor. Residents felt confident that their candidate could solve the city's problems.

"Tracy Steele did a great job to show that quite a few people in the city of North Little Rock was for change," said Roy Wade, a North Little Rock resident.

And so residents took to the polls November 6th and after a run-off earlier this week, they cast their vote again. Results showed Joe Smith was the winner but his opponent still had nearly half of the city's votes.

"I think the campaign bruised some people," said Smith. "The biggest negative that the opposition was trying to show me was that I didn't care about all parts of the city and that's not true," he said.

It was an election that many considered a clash between different financial backgrounds. With the city's working class, minorities and youth going for Steele and white collar residents voting for Smith.

"I think they supported me because I've been a voice. I've been a voice for them. I've been a voice for the working class people my entire legislative career and it showed up during the election," said Rep. Tracy Steele.

Joe Smith, who has no political background, acknowledges he has some heavy lifting to do to heal a city bruised from a vicious campaign.

"I think I have to reach out and let everybody know that I'm just now learning to be a politician," said Smith.

Joe Smith will get to work as mayor of North Little Rock on January first of 2013.