Clarke Tucker Wins Democratic Primary in Arkansas

State representative will meet GOP Rep. French Hill in November

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic primary in Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday, to face Republican Rep. French Hill in November.

Tucker was one of four Democrats vying for the nomination, and he comfortably averted a June 19 runoff.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, he had 57 percent of the vote to 21 percent for his nearest challenger, public school teacher Gwen Combs, according to The Associated Press. 

His outright victory means he can now focus on the general election. National Democrats had signaled they believed he was the strongest contender against Hill. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Tucker to its Red to Blue program for promising challengers in April, granting him access to additional committee resources.

Tucker has spent $363,000 on his campaign so far — airing two television ads ahead of Tuesday’s primary. He had $2400,00 in the bank as of May 2, the pre-primary reporting date, according to Federal Election Commission documents, the most of any Democrat in the race. Hill, who is in his second term in Congress, ended the period with $1.6 million in cash on hand.

Democrats are targeting the 2nd District even though President Donald Trump carried the seat by 10 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

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