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2012 elections review: Two incumbents defeated in Arkansas primaries

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May 23, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

Besides picking presidential nominations, Arkansas voters selected primary winners in congressional and state legislative primaries. Here's a recap of what happened.

Contested Primaries in Arkansas -- May 22, 2012
U.S. House
(4 seats)
State Legislature
(135 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 2 (50%) 19 (14.07%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 1 (25%) 15 (11.11%)

Congress

United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas, 2012

In the 1st District Democratic primary, candidate Scott Ellington is hovering around the 50% vote requirement required to avoid having to go to a primary runoff election. State representative Clark Hall is currently in 2nd place with 39% of the vote and Gary Latanich is out of the running with roughly 12% of the vote. Should Ellington acquire 50% of the vote, he will face Republican incumbent Rick Crawford in the general election on November 6, 2012. If not, he will face Clark Hall in the June 12, 2012, primary runoff election.[1]

Republican incumbent Tim Griffin ran unopposed in the Republican primary in the 2nd District. He will face Democratic challenger Herb Rule in the general election on November 6. Rule also ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Steve Womack ran unopposed in the Republican primary in the 3rd District. He will face Democratic challenger Ken Aden in the general election on November 6. Aden also ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The open seat in the 4th District caused by the retirement of Democratic incumbent Mike Ross led to a primary battle on both sides. In the Republican primary Tom Cotton defeated John Cowart and Beth Anne Rankin to advance to the general election. On the Democratic ticket, candidates Q. Byrum Hurst and Gene Jeffress advanced to the primary runoff, defeating D.C. Morrison.

Members of the U.S. House from Arkansas -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 1 0
     Republican Party 3 4
Total 4 4

State legislature

Arkansas's legislative races saw relatively few surprises, although two incumbents lost their seats, both senators who were defeated by challengers from the house.[2]

Senate

Seven senators faced a primary challenge, of which two were defeated.

Also of note is political newcomer Bart Hester defeating Representative Tim Summers in District 1.[2]

Arkansas State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 20 14
     Republican Party 15 21
Total 35 35

House

In the House, six incumbents faced a primary challenge. They all defeated their primary challengers.

In addition, many of the races in which there were more than two candidates will result in a primary runoff election.

Arkansas House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 54 49
     Republican Party 46 51
Total 100 100

See also

References