Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TOP STORY > >Boozman, O’Brien winners

Leader staff writer

U.S. Rep. John Boozman avoided a runoff in a crowded Republican field of candidates wanting to unseat U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Pulaski County Clerk Pat O’Brien is in a runoff in his bid to be the Democratic nominee for secretary of state.

Many other candidates are headed for a June 8 runoff.

Two-term Sen. Blanche Lincoln is in a runoff against Lieut. Gov. Bill Halter in the Democratic primary.

The Democrats have a runoff in the race for Rep. Vic Snyder’s Dist. 2 congressional seat. The Democrats will also have a runoff for the race to occupy retiring Rep. Marion Berry’s Dist. 1 seat. The same is true for the Republicans seeking the Dist. 3 seat, which is being vacated by Rep. John Boozman, who is vying for Lincoln’s seat.

The Democrats will also have a runoff for land commissioner.

Lincoln came in first in an effort to keep her Senate seat, but she did not get the needed votes to avoid a runoff.

With 79 percent of the precincts reporting, Lincoln had 119,934 votes, or 44 percent, to Halter’s 115,103 votes, or 42 percent.

D.C. Morrison finished a strong third with 36,503 votes, or 13 percent.

On the Republican side, Boozman apparently came out on top of the eight-person field. With 80 percent of the precincts in, Boozman grabbed 69,172 votes, or 54 percent, to Jim Holt’s 17 percent, or 22,265 votes. State Sen. Gilbert Baker came in third with 13,145 votes, or 10 percent.

In the battle for Snyder’s Dist. 2 seat, Democrats Joyce Elliott, a state senator, and Robbie Wills, the House Speaker, will face each other in the runoff for the right to battle Republican Tim Griffin, who easily defeated Little Rock businessman Scott Wallace.

With 80 percent of the precincts reporting, Elliott received 28,706 votes, or 42 percent, to Wills’ 26 percent, or 17,612 votes in what was a five-person race.

Tim Wooldridge solidly bested Chad Causey in the six-person Democratic battle for Berry’s Dist. 1 seat, but Wooldridge didn’t top 50 percent. He had 16,427 votes, or 42 percent, to Causey’s 21 percent, or 8,317 votes, with 50 percent of the precincts reporting.

The winner of the runoff will face Republican Rick Crawford, who bested Princella Smith, 71 percent to 29 percent.

With 80 percent of the vote in, O’Brien had slightly less than 50 percent of the vote in his bid to be the Democratic candidate for secretary of state. O’Brien captured 130,799 votes, or 50.9 percent, and will take on Mark Wilcox in the June 8 runoff.

Wilcox had 85,892 votes or 37 percent. The runoff winner will face the Republican candidate, state Rep. Mark Martin.

The Democratic candidate for land commissioner will also be decided in a runoff between Monty Davenport and L.J. Bryant.

Davenport had 95,738 votes, or 39 percent, to Bryant’s 40 percent, or 98,028. The Republican candidate, John Thurston, ran unopposed.

The Democratic race for Pulaski County clerk went to Larry Crane with 21,278 votes, or 56 percent, compared to Steve Walden’s 44 percent, or 16,791 votes.

In the local race for Hill constable, Dennis Sobba squeaked out a victory over J.D. Holloman. Sobba grabbed 5,274 votes, or 51 percent, to Holloman’s 5,086 votes, or 49 percent. Sobba will face Republican Rick Scott in the November general election.

Running unopposed in the Democratic primary were former Lonoke Mayor Lenville Evans, running for the state Senate Dist. 28 seat; former state legislator Sandra Prater for state Senate Dist. 29, who will face Jonathan Dismang; and incumbent Barry Hyde for state representative Dist. 40; Rep. Mark Perry is unopposed in Dist. 44, and incumbent Jim Nichols for state representative Dist. 43.

Republican Cabot Mayor Eddie Jo Williams ran unopposed for the state Senate Dist. 28 seat.