Gov. Hutchinson wins Republican primary Tuesday


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LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas legislator national Democrats have said is their best chance to flip a Little Rock-area congressional seat won the party’s nomination Tuesday night, while the state’s Republican governor defeated a gun range owner who had challenged him from the right in the GOP primary.

The election is the first step in Democrats’ hopes to end their shutout in predominantly GOP Arkansas. Republicans control all of the state’s federal offices and its statewide partisan offices, as well as a majority in both chambers of the Legislature. The GOP has held the 2nd District seat since 2011.

Here are the top races at stake as voters head to the polls:

Democratic House hopes

State Rep. Clarke Tucker, who national Democrats touted as the party’s best chance to reclaim the 2nd Congressional District, won the four-person primary for the district covering Little Rock and seven central Arkansas counties. The seat is currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill. Tucker has outpaced his rivals in the race in fundraising and has been running ads talking about his battle with cancer. He’s running against two schoolteachers — Paul Spencer and Gwen Combs — and Jonathan Dunkley, the director of operations for the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service.

“I think people are tired of Congress having their attention be on the things other than the people they represent,” Tucker told The Associated Press Tuesday night.

In northwestern Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Steve Womack defeated Fayetteville pastor Robb Ryerse in the GOP primary. Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman, who represents southern and western Arkansas’ 4th District, defeated Randy Caldwell, a preacher.

High court hijinks

A state Supreme Court justice and an attorney backed by a Republican group advanced to a runoff in a high court race marked by heavy outside spending. Justice Courtney Goodson and David Sterling, the chief counsel for the Department of Human Services, advanced to a runoff in the election for the nonpartisan seat. Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson finished third in Tuesday’s election.

Goodson and Sterling now head to a runoff in the November election. The Judicial Crisis Network, which targeted Goodson during her unsuccessful campaign to be chief justice two years ago, has spent more than $935,000 on TV ads criticizing Goodson and Hixson, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks judicial campaign spending. The Republican State Leadership Committee has spent more than $564,000 on TV ads and mailers in support of Sterling.

“Today was a huge victory for honest people who are fed up with the lies dark money is spreading about me,” Goodson told the AP.

Hutchinson wins

Gov. Asa Hutchinson defeated Jan Morgan in the Republican primary after a race he touted $150 million in tax cuts he’s signed into law, as well as his record on gun rights and anti-abortion measures. Morgan had challenged Hutchinson from the right in the primary. Morgan, a gun rights activist and cable news commentator had declared her Hot Springs gun range “Muslim-free” in 2014. In the Democratic primary, Jared Henderson, a former Teach for America executive, defeated Leticia Sanders, a hair braider from Maumelle.

“The voters of Arkansas have rejected the negative voices and said we prefer hope and optimism about our future,” Hutchinson told the AP.

Full election results

Arkansas Governor (R)   2694 of 2749 Precincts Reporting
Asa Hutchinson 141,604 70% W
Jan Morgan 61,317 30%


Arkansas Governor (D)   2694 of 2749 Precincts Reporting
Jared Henderson 67,494 63% W
Leticia Sanders 38,991 37%


AR Secretary of State (R)   2694 of 2749 Precincts Reporting
John Thurston 98,323 52% W
Trevor Drown 90,117 48%


AR State Senate – Dist. 24 (D)   50 of 50 Precincts Reporting
Keith Ingram 3,370 73% W
Dorothy Cooper 1,255 27%


AR State House – Dist. 48 (D)   30 of 30 Precincts Reporting
Reginald Murdock 2,355 59% W
Nancy Blount 1,664 41%


AR Supreme Court – Position 3   2694 of 2749 Precincts Reporting
Courtney Goodson 114,053 37%
David Sterling 102,581 34%
Kenneth Hixson 88,040 29%


AR Prosecuting Attorney – Dist. 1   79 of 79 Precincts Reporting
Todd Murray 7,005 63% W
James Valley 4,120 37%


Crittenden Co. Treasurer (D)   24 of 24 Precincts Reporting
Matt Thompson 1,101 58% W
Lavonda Taylor 783 42%


Crittenden Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist 7. (D)   6 of 6 Precincts Reporting
Ronnie Marconi 123 73% W
Kyle Watkins 46 27%


Crittenden Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 12 (D)   3 of 3 Precincts Reporting
Cynthia Lucas 118 57% W
Sherry Holliman 90 43%


Cross Co. Sheriff (R)   21 of 21 Precincts Reporting
David West 1,433 84% W
Dale Arnold 275 16%


Lee Co. Sheriff (D)   9 of 9 Precincts Reporting
Ocie Banks 1,406 64% W
James Guynes 784 36%


Lee Co. Clerk (D)   9 of 9 Precincts Reporting
Pam Webb 997 46%
Lynsey Russell 746 34%
Tiffany Davis 424 20%


Lee Co. Circuit Clerk (D)   9 of 9 Precincts Reporting
Diane Bowman 1,255 58% W
Mary Ann Wilkinson 893 42%


Lee Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 1 (D)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
JN Bickerstaff 212 79% W
Lonibeth Schwede Vondran 57 21%


Lee Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 2 (D)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
Matt Oxner 167 57% W
Victoria Perry 71 24%
Junious Pruett 56 19%


Lee Co. Constable – Dist. 1 (D)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
James Stacks 167 62% W
J Harvey Shaw 67 25%
Patrick Fowler 34 13%


Lee Co. Constable – Dist. 2 (D)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
Charlie Thompson 168 62% W
Kyle Morris 101 38%


Mississippi Co. Judge (R)   20 of 20 Precincts Reporting
John Nelson 2,211 65% W
Ken Kennemore 1,206 35%


Mississippi Co. Sheriff (R)   20 of 20 Precincts Reporting
Bobby Ephlin 1,662 52% W
Scott Adams 1,512 48%


Mississippi Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 1 (R)   3 of 3 Precincts Reporting
Fred Fleeman 248 65% W
Aaron Fleeman 136 35%


Mississippi Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 5 (R)   3 of 3 Precincts Reporting
Molly Jackson 302 65% W
Barry Ball 163 35%


Mississippi Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 7 (D)   5 of 5 Precincts Reporting
Joann Henton 92 63% W
Joe Lewis 53 37%


Mississippi Co. Justice of the Peace -Dist. 10 (R)   3 of 3 Precincts Reporting
Betty Hepler 365 81% W
Nathan Dunman 84 19%


Mississippi Co. Chickasawba Constable (D)   4 of 4 Precincts Reporting
Randy Moody 278 54% W
Tyrone Futrell Sr 233 46%


Phillips Co. Sheriff (D)   0 of 17 Precincts Reporting
Vincent Bell 0 0%
Neal Byrd 0 0%


Phillips Co. Assessor (D)   0 of 17 Precincts Reporting
Jackie Sanders 0 0%
Jerome Turner 0 0%


Phillips Co. Spring Creek Constable (D)   0 of 2 Precincts Reporting
Lewis Hall 0 0%
Jimmy Jones 0 0%


Poinsett Co. Judge (R)   9 of 9 Precincts Reporting
Bob Cantrell 930 57% W
Mark Weston 699 43%


Poinsett Co. Justice of the Peace – Dist. 11 (R)   3 of 3 Precincts Reporting
Harold Blackwood 105 54% W
Michael Ferguson 90 46%


Poinsett Co. Willis Constable (R)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
Jay Woods 250 59% W
Wayne Hogan 173 41%


St. Francis Co. Sheriff (D)   15 of 15 Precincts Reporting
Robert May 1,297 54% W
William Sparkmon 1,112 46%


St. Francis Co. Garland Constable (D)   1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
Vester Steele 107 52% W
Joey Askue 99 48%

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