Republicans Post Big Wins in Mid-Term Election
Turnout was fairly heavy for the Nov. 4, General Election, as Republican candidates dominated polling in Arkansas. In Clay County just over 48 percent of the 8,454 registered voters cast ballots.
In the only regional race, incumbent District #20 State Senator Robert Thompson was beaten by challenger Blake Johnson 12,053 to 10,353. The county's other state lawmaker, Joe Jett, was not opposed in his re-election bid.
In statewide races, Tom Cotton defeated incumbent Senator Mark Pryor and carried Clay County by a tally of 2,253 to 1,573. In the gubernatorial race, former Senator Asa Hutchinson edged former Congressman Mike Ross and barely carried the county 1,943 to 1,912.
First District Congressman Rick Crawford won re-election by a wide margin, and was favored in Clay County over challenger Jackie McPherson 2,736 to 1,052. Other GOP winners included Tim Griffin for Lieutenant Governor, and he outpolled Democratic challenger John Burkhalter 2,111 to 1,691 among the Clay County electorate. Leslie Rutledge was elected Attorney General, but did not carry the county as Nate Steel edged her 1,850 to 1,841. Dennis Milligan got the nod for State Treasurer, and beat his Democratic challenger Karen Sealy Garcia in Clay County 2,124 to 1,465. Also elected was Andrea Lea as Auditor of State, and she also edged her Democratic challenger Regina Stewart Hampton in the county by a total of 2,063 to 1,480.
Also re-elected were two other Republicans, Secretary of State Mark Martin who also outpolled his Democratic challenger Susan Inman in Clay County 2,432 to 1,336. And, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston was re-elected, and he also carried the county over his Democratic challenger Mark A. Robertson 2,135 to 1,525.
As for the statewide issues on the ballot, Issue #1, which would empower the legislature to approve state agency administrative rules passed by a fair margin, and was favored by Clay County voters 2,309 to 1,424. Issue #2, which adjusts the process for gathering signatures for statewide measures was also passed statewide, and was narrowly favored in Clay County 1,986 to 1,787. Issue #3, referred to as the term limits and campaign reform measure was favored by Clay County voters 2,017 to 1,873 and passed by a slim margin on the state level. Issue #4, often referred to as the alcohol beverage amendment failed by a wide margin statewide, and was not favored by Clay County voters as they cast 2,399 votes against the measure while 1,582 voted yes. And, Issue #5, which would raise the state minimum wage, passed by a wide margin statewide and was favored in Clay County by a vote of 2,804 to 1,101.