Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In three state senate races, GOP private option supporters prevail in primaries

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 1:21 AM

We'll have more tomorrow, but here's an incomplete primary election update on the state legislative front.

In three GOP senate primaries, the private option — or, if you prefer, "Arkansas Works" — played a central role. Considering the already tenuous position of Medicaid expansion in the Senate, these contests were crucial for the policy's survival. The pro-private option candidates won in all three.

In North Little Rock's District 34, incumbent Sen. Jane English beat challenger Donnie Copeland, currently a state representative.

Cabot Sen. Eddie Joe Williams fended off a challenge from Justice of the Peace R.D. Hopper in District 29. 

In Springdale, Rep. Lance Eads faced JP Sharon Lloyd for the District 7 Senate seat left open by the departure of state Sen. Jon Woods (the only elected Republican official in the state to endorse Donald Trump for president, as far as I know).

In the House, Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R-Rogers) survived a concerted attack from private option foes Americans for Prosperity to win her primary against Randy Alexander. But incumbent Rep. Sue Scott (R-Rogers), another private option supporter, was defeated by her challenger, Austin McCollum.

There were a number of other significant House primaries, including some that have yet to be called. More to come.

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