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At the end of the municipal candidate filing on Aug. 15, every mayoral race in Saline County drew at least two candidates. Two weeks later on Aug. 29, one of the candidates dropped out of the race.
Gene Gentry had filed to challenge Benton Mayor David Mattingly in the November general election.
Gentry was contacted this morning and confirmed that he has withdrawn from the race, but added "I'd rather not comment right now." Gentry said he filed paperwork to drop out of the race on Aug. 29.
Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis also confirmed that paperwork to withdraw from the race was filed by Gentry at 3:19 on Aug. 29.
Responding to the news of Gentry's withdrawal, Mattingly said "Nancy and I care about Benton so much and are grateful to the people of this city for the faith they have placed in me as their mayor. I'm also appreciative of the opportunity to continue to focus on the city's business without the added distraction of a costly campaign. Additionally, I appreciate my campaign team for their preparation and support. When you have a good team and true friends around you, life gets much easier regardless of what you are doing."
Mattingly added, "We have accomplished a great deal over the last four years and have won several political battles against the forces that were holding our city back. Now the task turns to finishing the projects we have started and maintaining the momentum we have achieved. I look forward to that challenge and I'm honored by the faith our citizens have place in me."
Mattingly is the only mayor who is unopposed for office.