State Rep. Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, easily won the Republican nomination in the State House District 32 primary election held Tuesday (May 24). Ladyman received 71% (1,655) of votes cast while his opponent, Jonesboro businessman Tom Elwood received 29% (680).
Results are unofficial.
Ladyman will face Libertarian Eric McGee of Jonesboro in the general election this November. Ladyman could have had a much more difficult path to securing a fifth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives. His district was redistricted and fellow State Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, are now in the same district. The two were elected together in 2014 in different districts.
Smith opted to challenge U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, in the First District primary instead. Smith lost his bid to unseat Crawford.
Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd handily beat Republican primary opponent former state trooper Doug Thomas. Boyd garnered 74% (7,344) of votes cast compared to the 26% (2,610) who voted for Thomas. Boyd has served as sheriff for more than 10 years. Early in 2022 he announced he would run as a Republican after serving his other terms as a Democrat. Boyd said part of the reason he switched parties was due to efforts by some national groups to defund the police.
Following are the vote counts in the House and Senate districts that are in or connected to Northeast Arkansas.
Senate District 9
State Rep. Reginald Murdock, D-Marianna defeated Dorothy Dyson Cooper, D-Turrell in the primary. Murdock received 67% (3,122) of the votes cast while, Cooper received 33% (1,525). Murdock will now face Terry Fuller, R-Poplar Grove in the general election. The seat is held by Sen. Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Senate District 21
Sen. Blake Johnson, R-Corning, defeated challenger Curtis Hitt, R-Paragould. Johnson tallied 61% (7,537) of the vote while Hitt received 38% (4,750). Johnson will now face Libertarian candidate Alfred Holland of Paragould in the general election.
Senate District 22
A three-person race between incumbent State Sen. James Sturch, R-Batesville, and challengers State Rep. John Payton, R-Wilburn and Ethan Barnes, R-Ash Flat, appears to be headed for a runoff. Payton led the race with 41% (6,275). Sturch tallied 35% (5,353) while Barnes garnered 23% (3,566) with 84% of precincts reporting. The top two finishers will compete in the runoff.
House District 1
Jeremy Wooldridge, R-Marmaduke, defeated fellow challenger Steve Dixon, R-Marmaduke, in the primary. Wooldridge received 76% (3,652) of votes cast, while Dixon tallied 24% (1,165). He will face Teresa Roofe, D-Rector, in the general election. Incumbent Joe Jett, R-Success, announced he would retire earlier this year.
House District 30
Rep. Fran Cavenaugh, R-Walnut Ridge, soundly defeated her primary opponent Coty Powers, R-Walnut Ridge. Cavenaugh tallied 69% (2,529) of votes cast, while Powers received 31% (1,136). She will now face Libertarian Cheryl Primm, of Bono in the fall.
House District 34
Joey Carr, R-Blytheville, defeated challenger Gary Tobar, R-Gosnell. Carr received 76% (987) of votes cast compared to Tobar’s 24% (308). Carr will vie with Ollie Collins, D-Osceola, in the November general election. Rep. Monte Hodges opted to run for the congressional seat in the First District.