Republican primary voters elected a new state representative on Tuesday and nominated a new state senator to send to the General Assembly.
J. Donald Ragland defeated Timmy Reid with 54 percent of the vote – 1,279 to Reid’s 1,091 – to win the District 83 seat in the state House of Representatives, as no Democrat challenger filed.
Ragland will succeed incumbent David Branscum, who resigned to accept an appointment from the Trump administration.
GOP nominee selected for District 29
Ricky Hill has taken the nomination for the state Senate District 29 seat, defeating fellow former Cabot School Board member Jim Coy with 57 percent of the vote, 1,403 votes to Coy’s 1,079, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Hill will face Democrat Steven McNeely of Jacksonville in a May special election to fill the vacancy left by incumbent Eddie Joe Williams, who also resigned to accept a Trump administration appointment.
Runoff election to fill Senate District 16 seat
Republican voters will return to the polls for a March 13 runoff to choose between two state Senate candidates who failed to pull a majority of the vote in a three-way race.
Breanne Davis and Robert Bailey will face off on March 13 for the state Senate District 16 nomination after neither drew a majority vote. Davis took 43 percent of the vote (2,438) to 41 percent for Bailey (2,323) and 15 percent (854) for Luke Heffley.
The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Teresa Gallegos in May to decide the successor Sen. Greg Sandridge, who passed away in November following a battle with cancer.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has set a May 22 primary for Jake Files’ Senate seat, with a general election on Aug. 14. Files, a Fort Smith Republican, pleaded guilty to fraud charges last month.