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Arkansas runoff results

By: 8 June 2010 2 Comments

Lincoln

Yes, it’s runoff time here in Arkansas.

Well it was, anyway. The May 18 primaries were nasty enough and one might argue that the fighting in the June 8 runoffs was even worse.

Perhaps the big election of the night was the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter have been flinging mud at each other for months now. Thankfully, that’s all over — Halter has conceded and Lincoln will fight to defend herself against challenger John Boozman, a Republican and 3rd District U.S. Representative.

One of the more fascinating wrinkles in the Halter-Lincoln spat has to do with a series of campaign ads in which Halter accused the Senator of bowing to special interests. That’s a fascinating charge to make in a series of commercials that were paid for by labor unions.

Unions, apparently, aren’t special interest groups because we don’t call them that. Or something along those lines.

It’s worth mentioning that Boozman has vowed to avoid running attack ads against Lincoln as he runs for Senate. Hopefully, Lincoln will respond in kind.

Obviously, Halter won’t run for the lieutenant governor’s office again. Democrat Shane Broadway and Republican Mark Darr will run for that office in the November elections.

By the way, click here to listen to an interview with Broadway and here for one with Darr. Bear in mind both of those interviews were done prior to the May 18 primaries, but they still hold up pretty well.

This year, the race for commissioner of state lands has been a heated one. That’s right — land commissioner. When’s the last time that office generated much excitement?

Democrat L.J. Bryant — a youngster, good Methodist boy and Hendrix College graduate — has been talking about utilizing technology to make the Land Commissioner’s office more accessible to citizens. That message, apparently, resonated with voters as Bryant defeated Monty Davenport in the runoffs and will face Republican John Thurston in the November elections.

Bryant, a wise fellow who sees the value in communicating with First Arkansas News, sent in a statement to this little ole blog in which he accepted the Democratic nomination. Here it is:

Bryant

At the age of 23 years old, L.J. Bryant of Newport has won the Democrat Party nomination for Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, besting runoff opponent, Monty Davenport from Yellville, a 3-time elected member of the state House of Representatives. Bryant secured a plurality of the votes in the May Preferential Primary Election, eliminating third place finisher Mike Berg of Sherwood at that time. Bryant will face Republican candidate, John M. Thurston of Bigelow in the General Election on November 2.

If Bryant wins in the fall, he will become the youngest Constitutional Officer in Arkansas history to be elected by popular vote. “I think of age as just a number. Winning an election is about ideas and today a majority of the voters determined that my ideas were viable,” stated Bryant from his election-night headquarters at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.

“I send my congratulations to both of my opponents, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Berg. These gentlemen are great Arkansans and worked diligently to gain this nomination. I welcome all Democrats to now come together and rally around your party’s nominees, because there’s still one more hurdle to cross come November,” said Bryant. “It’s also important for me to thank all those around the state who worked so hard on this campaign—and not just those who volunteered in my campaign, but everyone who gave of their personal time to get involved in this process called Democracy. It really doesn’t matter whom you supported or from what party. It only matters that you engaged yourself in the process of helping fellow Arkansans who expressed a desire to see improvement s made in our form of government.”

Bryant closed by stating, “My commitment to the people of this state remains the same. If I am ultimately elected to the position of Land Commissioner, I will use all available technological resources to make that office more effective at generating revenue for local public schools and local county governments. I’ll also focus on making it easier for folks to pay if their real estate taxes become delinquent.”

Stay tuned — links to podcasts with both Bryant and Thurston will be posted here very soon.

Elliott

Meanwhile, State Senator Joyce Elliott has defeated State Representative (and Speaker of the House) Robbie Wills in the Second District runoff of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Amazingly, few people thought Elliott had much of a chance when she entered this race. However, she managed to pull off the runoff victory and will face Republican Tim Griffin in November.

Speaking of Congressional races, let’s get the Fourth District out of the way right now. In that district, Democrat and Incumbent Mike Ross will face Republican Beth Anne Rankin in November. There was no runoff in that district tonight as Ross was unopposed and Rankin won the Republican nomination in the May 18 primary.

O'Brien

Finally, there’s the Secretary of State’s race. Pat O’Brien faced Mark Wilcox in that one in the Democratic runoff and won. He’ll go on to face Republican Mark Martin in the November election.

There are, indeed, a couple of podcasts featuring interviews with those two candidates available. Click here for the Martin interview and the one with O’Brien is located here. Again, those interviews were done prior to the primaries, so bear that in mind.

You’ll find some more candidate interviews here.

It’s shaping up to be one heck of a political year here in scenic Arkansas. Make sure to check First Arkansas News from time to time for political news, interviews, etc. If you want to make keeping up with our political coverage easy, just click the appropriate icon in the right sidebar to subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign up for email updates.

Update!

Runoffs in the First and Third districts went right down to the wire. According to ArkansasOnline.com, those races have been decided.

In the First District, Democrat Chad Causey edged out Tim Wooldridge and will face Republican Rick Crawford in November. In the Third, Rogers Mayor Steve Womack defeated Republican Cecile Bledsoe and will face Democrat David Whitaker in November.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

2 Comments »

  • Martha H. Smith said:

    Really interesting and informative-Enjoyed reading about our native state’s political situation as we now live in Texas, “The Badlands.”

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