Election Day proved to be very fruitful for Republicans in Arkansas. Results generally came in as predicted by polling for a state that has turned solidly red while President Barack Obama was in office.
Incumbent Senator John Boozman easily won re-election, as did the state’s four members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Only one of the four had a Democratic challenger.
Boozman says he’s ready to focus on the things that matter to Republicans.
"Things like the regulatory burden that’s on our businesses that are putting a wet blanket again and costing us jobs, healthcare cost – the average Arkansan’s seen his premiums go up dramatically with $5,000-$10,000 deductibles. We’ve got to come together and solve those problems," Boozman said.
Top Republicans, like Governor Asa Hutchinson, marveled at the success of their party.
“Arkansas, after more than a century of being in the Democratic column, has truly shifted and it’s not going back anytime soon,” Hutchinson told KUAR News at an election watch party in west Little Rock.
Hutchinson credits presidential candidate Donald Trump for motivating voters during election season.
“It shows that we’re part of America that values the second amendment, that wants to give authority back to the states, that wants to have a strong defense against ISIS and so those are messages that Donald Trump conveyed that resonated in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said.
Earlier this year, Hutchinson heavily criticized Trump saying his words were frightening and that he would hurt job growth in Arkansas.
Little Rock Second District Congressman French Hill breezed to a second term last night with a win over Democratic challenger Dianne Curry. Hill emphasized in his victory remarks the need for Congress to unify in order to be productive. He said working with President Trump will bring unique challenges.
“Trump would come in with entrepreneurship, business acumen, some decision-making skills but... [he] has not had a background in public policy making,” said Hill.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, who has represented Arkansas’ 4th District since 2015, won his re-election bid against Libertarian opponent Kerry Hicks.
Meanwhile, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted:
I've had fun at the expense of HRC supporters, but now that Trump has become Pres-elect, it's time for a transition of power and heal USA.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 9, 2016