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Little Rock Mayor wins re-election; Republicans win big in Arkansas contests

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. is seeking a second term. This year he will face three challengers.
Michael Hibblen
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. beat out three challengers Tuesday and secured a second term in office.

While votes are still being counted in some races, some familiar names were among the winners in Tuesday’s midterm election in Arkansas. With control of the U.S. House and Senate still uncertain, Republicans continue to have a strong foothold in Arkansas politics.

Mayor of Little Rock

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. will keep his current job for the next four years. Scott successfully fended off three challengers to his re-election bid Tuesday night, securing just under half of the vote.

Second-place challenger Steve Landers fell just shy of 40% support, while Greg Henderson garnered about 8% and Glen Schwarz about 1.5%. Scott became the city’s first popularly-elected Black mayor four years ago. He had faced criticism from his challengers and Little Rock residents over rising crime and transparency issues within city government.

U.S. House, Senate

All five incumbent Republicans running to continue representing Arkansas in Congress successfully defended their seats Tuesday night. Sen. John Boozman fended off a challenge from Democrat Natalie James, securing about 65% of the vote. Central Arkansas U.S. Rep. French Hill won re-election over Democrat Quintessa Hathaway, and fellow Reps. Rick Crawford, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman all emerged victorious as well.

Statewide Races

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge fended off a challenge from Democrat Kelly Krout in the race for lieutenant governor. Rutledge will be the first woman to hold that office in Arkansas. Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin will now be the state’s next attorney general after securing roughly 70% of the vote against Democratic challenger Jesse Gibson.

Incumbent Republican Secretary of State John Thurston won his re-election bid over Democrat Anna Beth Gorman. And State Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, will be the next Treasurer of Arkansas after beating Democratic challenger Pam Whitaker.

Supreme Court of Arkansas

Justice Robin Wynne successfully won re-election over challenger Chris Carnahan, the former director of the state Republican Party who had faced criticism for his close ties to the GOP in the nonpartisan judicial race.

Little Rock City Board

Unofficial election results show two incumbent members of the Little Rock City Board of Directors won their re-election bids, while another incumbent appears poised to lose their seat. Ward 1 City Director Virgil Miller held a large lead over challengers Kenyon Lowe and Herbert Broadway, and Ward 5 Director Lance Hines appears to have beat challenger Mazhil Rajendran for the seat representing west Little Rock.

As of Wednesday morning, Andrea Lewis appears on track to unseat incumbent Ward 6 City Director Doris Wright, with about 45% of the vote compared to about 30% for Wright.

Pulaski County Sheriff

Incumbent Eric Higgins, a Democrat, successfully won re-election to lead the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. He secured just under 59% of the vote against his Republican challenger Paul “Blue” Keller.

Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.