State Senate races across central, south Arkansas oust two incumbents

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,995 views 

There will be two fewer incumbents in the Arkansas State Senate after Tuesday’s primary election returns are officially tabulated.

State Sen. Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs, and State Sen. Charles Beckham, R-Magnolia, trailed their primary opponents in their re-election bids to the upper chamber, according to unofficial election results provided by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.

Sample lagged behind GOP challenger Matt McKee, a justice of the peace, by 51.5%-48.5%.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Beckham trailed Republican challenger Steve Crowell, a city alderman, by 51%-49%.

One of the premiere match-ups in the State Senate pitted incumbent Sen. Mark Johnson, R-Little Rock, against State Rep. Spencer Hawks, R-Conway, in a newly drawn district that included more of Conway than it did previously. With 100% of precincts reporting, Johnson led Hawks 54%-46%.

Sen. Breanne Davis, R-Russellville, handily beat city councilman Rick Harrell 66%-34%.

State Rep. Reginald Murdock, D-Marianna, easily won his Democratic primary against challenger Dorothy Dyson Cooper by a 69%-31% margin.

In south Arkansas, Matt Stone, father-in-law to outgoing Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, won a newly drawn State Senate seat over two Republican primary challengers, Beth Callaway and James McMenis. Stone pulled 66% of the vote against the two opponents.

For more coverage of election returns, visit the regional pages at