The Latest: Goodson, Sterling advance in Supreme Court race | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: Goodson, Sterling advance in Supreme Court race

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson speaks to reporters at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday, May 18, 2018. A second Arkansas judge has prevented TV stations from airing a conservative group's ad attacking a Goodson, who is running for re-election. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)
May 22, 2018 - 9:01 PM

The Latest on Arkansas' primary and non-partisan judicial election (all times local):

10:55 p.m.

An Arkansas Supreme Court justice and an attorney backed by an out-of-state Republican group are advancing to a runoff in a race for a high court seat that was marked by outside attack ads.

Justice Courtney Goodson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling were the top two candidates in the heated three-person race in Tuesday's non-partisan judicial election. They advance to a runoff in the November general election. Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson also ran for the high court seat.

The results set up a months-long extension of a bitter and expensive court fight.

The Judicial Crisis Network spent more than $935,000 on TV ads attacking Godson and Hixson, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Another group, the Republican State Leadership Committee, spent more than spent more than $564,000 on TV ads and mailers supporting Sterling.


10:21 p.m.

An Arkansas legislator who won the nomination for a Little Rock-area congressional district party's leaders believe they can flip says he plans to continue focusing on health care now that he shifts into the general election campaign.

State Rep. Clarke Tucker told The Associated Press after winning the primary on Tuesday night that health care has been the top concern he's heard from voters in Arkansas 2nd Congressional District. Tucker will face Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill and Libertarian Joe Ryne Swafford in the November election.

Tucker ran ads talking about his battle against bladder cancer and had focused on health care in his bid for the party's nomination.


10 p.m.

An Arkansas state lawmaker touted by national Democrats as the best chance to reclaim a Republican-held Little Rock-area congressional district has won the party's primary.

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night for the 2nd Congressional District. He'll face Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill in the November election.

Tucker had been encouraged by the Democratic Congressional Committee to run for the seat and had far outpaced his rivals in fundraising. Tucker defeated two school teachers — Paul Spencer and Gwen Combs — and Jonathan Dunkley, the director of operations for the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service.

Tucker has focused on his support for the federal health care law in bid, running an ad where he talks about his battle with bladder cancer.


9:25 p.m.

A former Teach for America executive has been nominated by Democrats to be the next governor of Arkansas.

In balloting Tuesday, Jared Henderson defeated Leticia Sanders. Henderson said he wants Arkansas to be the best state for public school teachers. Sanders is a hair braider who wants students to attend the same school from kindergarten to high school.

Henderson will face incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson or gun range owner Jan Morgan in November, along with Libertarian Mark West of Batesville.

Henderson said he wants high schools and small colleges to provide basic business training to its students. He also opposes Hutchinson's plan to cut the state's top income tax rate.

The non-profit Teach for America was founded in 1989 to recruit teachers for low-income areas. Henderson directed its Arkansas branch.


8:44 p.m.

Arkansas' governor says his victory in the Republican primary over a challenger who accused him of not being a true conservative means voters rejected "negative voices."

Hutchinson defeated Jan Morgan, a gun range owner, in Tuesday's primary. Hutchinson had dwarfed Morgan in fundraising and had touted $150 million in tax cuts he had signed into law since taking office. Morgan had criticized Hutchinson as not conservative enough on several issues, including tax cuts and health care.

Hutchinson's win came a day after President Donald Trump endorsed him in the primary. Hutchinson said he believed he was trending toward a win, but the president's endorsement gave him some last minute momentum in the race.


8:38 p.m.

Republican Steve Womack has been nominated by Republicans to serve a fifth term in Congress from northwestern Arkansas.

Womack defeated the Rev. Robb Ryerse of Springdale in balloting Tuesday. It was the first time Womack has had a primary opponent since his initial race for Congress in 2010.

The former Rogers mayor questioned whether Ryerse was a true Republican, citing his challenger's support for expanded Medicare and an increase in the minimum wage. Ryerse said it was OK to support Medicare for all, and that a higher minimum wage would benefit people who must work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Womack is the House Budget Committee chairman and faces four opponents in November, including Democratic candidate Josh Mahony, Libertarian Michael Kalagias, independent Josh Moody and write-in candidate Jason Tate.


8:34 p.m.

Republicans in southern and western Arkansas want Bruce Westerman to serve a third term in Congress.

Westerman on Tuesday defeated a Pentecostal preacher who said God had told him to run. The Rev. Randy Caldwell had referred to himself as "Dr.," but an aide told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper that the title was honorary. Until recently, Caldwell had lived in Texas.

In November, Westerman will face Democratic candidate Hayden Catherine Shamel of Hot Springs and Scranton Libertarian Tom Canada.

Westerman is a forester from Hot Springs and is sponsoring the Resilient Federal Forests Act, which would make it harder for environmentalists to derail federal forest management plans. Caldwell had said he wanted to "drain the swamp" and support traditional values and the Second Amendment.


8:20 p.m.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has won the Republican primary in his re-election bid, defeating a gun rights advocate and cable news commentator who declared her gun range "Muslim-free."

Hutchinson defeated Jan Morgan in the state's GOP primary on Tuesday. Hutchinson, who was first elected in 2014, will face the winner of Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary and Libertarian nominee Mark West in the November election.

Hutchinson, a former congressman and federal Homeland Security official, had dwarfed Morgan in fundraising and was generally popular in the predominantly Republican state. Hutchinson had touted $150 million in tax cuts he'd successfully pushed through the Legislature and had proposed an $180 million cut for the state's top earners.


7:30 p.m.

Polls have closed for Arkansas' 2018 primary election. Voters still in line at the poll-closing time will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Democratic and Republican voters on Tuesday were picking party nominees for this November's general election, and every registered voter in the state could make selections in court and prosecutor races.

A Democratic primary for a central Arkansas seat in Congress was among several top races. If none of the four candidates wins a majority, a runoff would be held June 19. On the Republican side, Gov. Asa Hutchinson faced a challenge from gun-range owner Jan Morgan, who says the governor is not conservative enough.


5:30 p.m.

A cable provider in Arkansas is appealing a judge's ruling ordering them and several Little Rock TV stations to stop running a conservative group's ad attacking a state Supreme Court justice seeking re-election.

Comcast of Arkansas filed notice Tuesday it's appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's order preventing stations from airing the Judicial Crisis Network's ad criticizing Justice Courtney Goodson. Goodson sued to block the ad, claiming it was false and defamatory.

Piazza issued his ruling hours before another judge said the ad could continue airing in the northwest Arkansas area.

Goodson is running against Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling in Tuesday's non-partisan judicial election.


5 p.m.

A nurse who voted for a state legislator seeking the Democratic nomination for a central Arkansas congressional seat says she liked his focus on health care, but isn't sure whether she'll back the Republican incumbent in the general election.

Cathrine Pettit, a nurse from Conway, said she cast her ballot for state Rep. Clarke Tucker in the four-person Democratic primary for Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District. Tucker is running against two school teachers — Paul Spencer and Gwen Combs — and Jonathan Dunkley, the director of operations for the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service.

Pettit mentioned Tucker's television ad where the state lawmaker talks about his experience battling bladder cancer last year.

"Since he's a cancer survivor, it seems to pull a tug on my heartstrings," said Pettit, who said her father died of cancer.

But she said she's torn on whether to back whoever Democrats nominate this fall or incumbent Republican Rep. French Hill, who is seeking re-election this fall. Hill does not face an opponent in Tuesday's primary.


12 a.m.

Arkansas Democrats will choose their nominee for a Republican-held U.S. House seat the party believes it can flip this fall, while a state Supreme Court justice is seeking re-election in a campaign that's marked by an onslaught of attack ads from an out-of-state group.

Tuesday marks the first statewide election using a state law requiring voters to show photo identification. The Arkansas Supreme Court earlier this month ruled the state can enforce the revived voter ID law, despite a judge ruling it unconstitutional.

The House seat is Democrats' best hope to end their shutout in Arkansas, where Republicans control all of the state's federal offices and its statewide partisan offices.

There also are primaries in both parties for governor although Republican Asa Hutchinson is favoured for a second term.


The item sent at 8:38 p.m. has been changed to correct Womack's first name to Steve, not Shawn.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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