We awake to find, with some relief, a political world not much different from where we left it before we called it quits last night.
Pulaski County did get its vote counted and it was important as I had expected in the race for attorney general. It gave 58 percent of the vote to Paul Suskie. But the latest count includes NO precints from Carroll, Clark, Hempstead and Phillips County. With something near 10 percent of the vote out, you can't declare final runoffs in the a.g. and lt. gov. races because the vote pattern is wildly divergent geographically.
Attorney general -- At the moment, it looks like Dustin McDaniel and Paul Suskie for the Democratic nomination. Herzfeld might make some gains in the remaining counties, but with the light turnout, 4,000 votes looks to be a hard gap to narrow. (Suskie would have been a distant third without his 9,000-vote gap over the next closest finisher in Pulaski.)
Lieutenant governor -- Bill Halter got his 40 percent. At the moment, though it's not settled, it looks like Tim Wooldridge will slip into the runoff over Mike Hathorn. I at first thought he'd be the harder candidate for Halter to beat, but after a couple of cups of coffee, I"ve reconsidered, as you'll see in a later post. Few voters pay much attention to endorsements, but there is this: Halter won't draw any support from the defeated candidates in this field. Hathorn detests him. Martin didn't get enough votes to matter either way. Jim Holt waxed the Republican field, even beating Chuck Banks in Pulaski County.
Justice Donald Corbin and Paul Danielson won Supreme court seats. Martha Shoffner ran suprisingly well across the state in leading Mac Campbell in the Democratic primary race for state treasurer. Her old-school party connections won't hurt her in the runoff.
Legislative highlights: Bill Pritchard beat Big Daddy Duggar for Jim Holt's Senate seat; Kathy Webb with a smashing 55 percent win over three opponents in LR's House District 37 (she is NOT the first gay member of the legilsature, of that we're sure); there's an apparent dead heat in the Republican primary race -- Garner v. Ladner -- for the House district covering Maumelle. There's a runoff in that WLR House seat between Republicans Dan Greenberg and Kurt Hetherington. (What? A Times endorsement didn't give Greenberg this race outright? Looks difficult for Greenberg in the runoff because Hetherington had a majority in Pulaski County, the biggest vote, while Saline votes forced the runoff.)
Yet to shake out: the who-shot-Johns on election snafus, some of which are SOP, some of which are expected glitches of new equipment. All of it naturally falls at the feet of the state and county officials in charge of elections, fair or foul. I can tell you this: the depth of understanding among reporters about differences between touch-screen and paper-fed machines and the line of responsibility for various aspects of the voting process is not always good.
Here are Pulaski County results, including JP races.