Tuesday's Runoff Elections Will Decide Arkansas House And Senate Seats

Jun 18, 2018

Rep. Mat Pitsch (L) and former Rep. Frank Glidewell will compete in the Republican party runoff for an Arkansas Senate seat on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
Credit mathewpitsch.com and glidewellforsenate.com

Primary runoff elections will be held across Arkansas on Tuesday.

There are two state legislative races. One is to fill the vacated seat of former Sen. Jake Files, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on corruptions charges. The Republican primary runoff for the seat in western Arkansas, Senate District 8, is between two Fort Smith denizens: Former Rep. Frank Glidewell and current Rep. Mat Pitsch.

Glidewell is a former Sebastian County Judge and was as a member of the county’s Quorum Court for 12 years. He also served six years in the Arkansas House, and is a veteran of the Air National Guard.

Pitsch is the director of the Transportation Authority in Fort Smith and a former instructor at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. He was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2015 and was named House Majority Leader in 2016.  

The winner will face Libertarian William Whitfield Hyman in the general election in November.

Voters in House District 83 in northern Arkansas, will choose either Republican Rep. Donald Ragland or Newton County Sherrif Keith Slape. The winner will be unopposed in the general election. 

The Arkansas Secretary of State's Office said the results of the two legislative races will be posted here

Heather Yates, a political scientist with the University of Central Arkansas, calls these party primary runoffs 'low-stakes elections.'

"The Republican Party is in a good position in that they are not going to lose a House seat and the Republican Party is not going to lose a Senate seat. The issues are going to come down to very specialized, localized issues."

A runoff for a seat on the Pulaski County Quorum Court will pit Democrat Barry Jefferson against incumbent Robert Green. The Quorum Court is made up of 15 justices of the peace elected to two-year terms. Members controls the county’s budget. Since no Republicans registered for the election, the winner will get the seat.