The Republican nomination for State Senate District 17 was won by 201 votes by Scott Flippo, who defeated Rep. John Burris, the former House Majority Leader. The unofficial vote count was 3,913 for Flippo to 3,712 for Burris.
If the results stand, Flippo will replace GOP Sen. Johnny Key, who was not seeking re-election to the north-central Arkansas Senate seat. There is no Democratic challenger, so the Republican nominee is the de facto winner.
Flippo and Burris sparred throughout the campaign over residency, conservative positions, and money injected by an outside spending group and wealthy donors. The major contentious debate centered on the Private Option, the state’s Medicaid expansion plan that utilizes a private insurance exchange.
Burris was one of the chief architects of the Private Option and Flippo has vowed to oppose it when he’s seated. With Flippo’s victory, the vote count in the Arkansas State Senate for renewal of the Private Option funding is in greater jeopardy.
Ken Ferguson won the Democratic nomination over Win Trafford for House District 16. Unofficial results for the Jefferson County seat was 1,167 votes for Ferguson to 974 for Trafford.
There is no Republican opponent in the fall, so Ferguson wins the seat by securing the nomination.