Republican State Rep. Mat Pitsch, R-Fort Smith, will take over the Arkansas District 8 State Senate position in January. Unofficial results showed Pitsch had received 17,913 votes or 76.08% as of 9:21 p.m. Tuesday to beat out Libertarian challenger William Whitfield Hyman who received 5,682/23.92%.
“I want to thank the citizens of Fort Smith. It’s tough to run three elections in the same calendar year. Our volunteers were dynamite. We ran three tough races from May through November,” Pitsch said. “I really want to thank the voters of Sebastian County for turning out in such big numbers. We had more voters in early voting than we had in all the of the 2014 election in Sebastian County.”
In the next session, Pitsch said he will continue to focus on his areas of transportation and economic development but also hopes to get on the education committee to be able to promote the education needs of the area.
Pitsch’s professional experience includes working as CEO/president of McCourt Manufacturing, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, economic developer for the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, and leading the effort to build an intermodal facility in the metro area.
Republican incumbent Justin Boyd will keep his State Representative District 77 seat for another term.
“It was a lot of hard work. My campaign team worked hard and carried us across the finish line,” Boyd said Tuesday night.
Boyd thanked all those including his wife, children, family and friends who worked hard to support him through the campaign along with the voters and all his campaign volunteers.
“I look forward to continuing the good work we’re doing and continuing to work on the opioid crisis, criminal justice reform, and foster care challenges and work for area jobs and to pull people out of poverty,” he said.
Boyd, 43, has served as the representative for the district since 2015 and is the co-owner and pharmacist in charge of Coleman Pharmacy of Alma. Sebastian County reported Boyd with 4,723 votes or 59.19% at 9.21 p.m. Tuesday. Democrat candidate Luke Pruitt had received 2,983/37.38% and Libertarian candidate Stephen Edwards had 274/3.43%.
At 10:57 p.m. unofficial state results showed Republican incumbent Charlene Fite of Van Buren ahead with 1,748 votes or 80.04%. Her Libertarian opponent Casey Copeland had 114/5.22% and Democrat opponent Lou Reed Sharp had 322/14.74%. Votes from Washington County had not been reported.
In the District 81 State Representative race, unofficial results showed Republican incumbent Bruce Coleman with 3,958 votes for 79.21% and Democrat challenger Donnie McKinney receiving 1,039/20.79%.