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Arkansas State Capitol
Wikipedia.org

The freshly minted Select Committee on Senate Ethics held its first meeting Thursday and elected its leadership. The Senate last week approved rule changes creating the committee to hear and investigate claims of corruption. Its formation comes on the heels of federal investigations that have led to five former lawmakers being convicted.

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Incoming Senate President Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, says he wants members to vote later this year to open up the Senate chamber and its committee meetings for live-streaming.

Arkansas House Speaker Jeremy Gillam is resigning this month to take a governmental affairs job at the University of Central Arkansas.

The move opens up a leadership vacuum in the state legislature and is riling up democrats, who see it as a sign of a revolving door between lawmaking and lobbyist-like activity.

The Republican from White County had already announced he wasn’t running for re-election. The House will caucus June 15 to elect an interim speaker.

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

The primary elections in Arkansas are over.  Now, Talk Business and Politics’ Roby Brock and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett break down the results.


Arkansas State Capitol
Wikipedia.org

One of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s most vocal critics within his own party lost her primary battle Tuesday night. State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, was defeated by State Rep. James Sturch, R-Batesville, in the State Senate District 19 race. With 100% of the vote in according to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office, Sturch tallied 52.9% (5,299) of votes cast while Collins-Smith garnered 47.1% (4,726).

Results are unofficial.

Justice Courtney Goodson and Department of Human Services Chief Counsel David Sterling are headed for a runoff in the Arkansas Supreme Court race, while Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston was leading in the secretary of state’s race.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson won his Republican Party primary with room to spare Tuesday, beating challenger Jan Morgan by a margin of more than two-to-one.

Likewise, roughly 200,000 Arkansans chose a GOP ballot — almost twice the number who voted in the Democratic primary.  

Hutchinson didn’t extend any appreciation to his opponent in his election night speech or so much as mention her by name. And for her part, Morgan said afterward she would maintain her campaign promise and not endorse her party's nominee in the general election.

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The new county judge for Craighead County will be Marvin Day. He will start his duties January first. I asked him on his reaction to winning the position.

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Democrats in central Arkansas will choose the party's nominee for a Republican-held U.S. House seat the party believes it has a chance to reclaim this fall, while a state Supreme Court justice is seeking re-election in a campaign that's marked by an onslaught of attack ads from an out-of-state group.

As Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson faces a challenge from the right in Tuesday’s Republican primary election, he now has the backing of President Trump.

The endorsement came in the form of a tweet Monday evening after Hutchinson and four other Republican governors dined with the president at the White House to discuss border security and other issues. Trump wrote on Twitter that Hutchinson had “done an incredible job with a focus on lower taxes, border security and crime prevention.”

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