Share story

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Republican voters on Tuesday elected a new state representative and nominated a new state senator to send to the Arkansas Legislature.

But GOP 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.

Donald Ragland defeated Timmy Reid with 54 percent of the vote to win the state House District 83 seat unopposed by Democrats, succeeding incumbent David Branscum who resigned to accept an appointment from the Trump administration.

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. Hill will face Democrat Steven McNeely of Jacksonville, Arkansas, in a May special election to fill the vacancy left by incumbent Eddie Joe Williams, who also resigned to accept a Trump administration appointment.

Breanne Davis and Robert Bailey face a March 13 rematch for the state Senate District 16 GOP nomination after neither drew a majority vote. Davis took 43 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Bailey and 15 percent for Luke Heffley.

The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Teresa Gallegos in May to decide the successor to the late Sen. Greg Sandridge.

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.