I’ll try to stick around for election results, but feel free to post what you know if I don’t.
On the agenda:
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 21
There’s a four-way Democratic primary and a three-way Republican primary to fill the seat vacated by Paul Bookout after his ethics implosion.
Democrats: Former state Rep. Ray Kidd, a local JP; Radius Baker, the Valley View school superintendendent; Steve Rockwell, in the publishing business, and former Sen. Gene Roebuck.
KAIT in Jonesboro puts Baker in the lead based on the early vote, with 45 percent, with Rockwell in second.
UPDATE: Again from KAIT, it’s Baker, 888; Rockwell, 788; Kidd, 156, and Roebuck, 133, but the report doesn’t indicate vote percentage.
Republicans: John Cooper, Chad Niell and Dan Sullivan vied to be the most conservative, but Cooper led the pack in rightward tilt with endorsements from the likes of Black Helicopter Queen Debbie Pelley, the disgraceful former state Rep. Jon Hubbard and religionist Republican Rep. Justin Harris. Niell poured more than $100,000 of his own money into the race, but endured bad publicity dug up by Blue Hog Report about licensing problems of his business milking money out of handling credit transactions for prison inmates.
KAIT in Jonesboro tweets that Cooper has the early lead with 38 percent of the early vote, with Sullivan in second.
UPDATE: Again from KAIT, It’s Sullivan, 907; Cooper, 893, and Niell, 702, but it’s unclear how much of the vote this represents.
It seems clear that both parties will have runoffs, absent a drastic shift in the voting trend so far.
UPDATE: FINAL NUMBER:
Republicans — John Cooper, 1,175; Dan Sullivan, 1,172; Chad Niell, 903.
Cooper and Sullivan will face each other in a runoff election.
Democrats — Radius Baker, 1,083; Steve Rockwell, 956; Ray Kidd, 207; Gene Roebuck, 207.
Republicans are naturally thrilled that they had significantly more voters in their primary. Democrats would do well to hope that a Jon Hubbard-backed extremist, John Cooper, wins. He’d be a sharp contrast to political neophytes from the solid center, as Baker and Rockwell are. Digging up some quotes from Debbie Pelley about the worldwide conspiracy in bicycle paths and some of Hubbard’s rantings would be instructive.
LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL BOARD ZONE 6
The race is a runoff between Tara Shephard, an adult education teacher, and Florene Armstrong, a retired teacher and wife of former School Board member Charles Armstrong.
Voting will be light. Interesting though: Shephard carried early voting 27-3, which smacks of organization, if a tiny one. Two things: The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and 50 for the Future backed Shephard. But she is not as distant from John Walker, the man the chamber loves to hate for his role in protecting civil rights of black children, as they’d like to think. Just saying. The Little Rock Education Association backed Armstrong.
UPDATE: Results are in. Shephard wins handily, 249-161.