A state representative who led the Republican push to approve Arkansas' private option Medicaid expansion is heading to a runoff election for a state Senate seat in north Arkansas.
State Rep. John Burris of Harrison will face assisted-living center owner Scott Flippo in the June 10 runoff.
At 10:25 p.m. and with 69 of 70 precincts reporting, Burris had 3,785 votes, or 43 percent; and Flippo had 3,710, or 42 percent.
The two topped Mountain Home Mayor David Osmon, who had 1,382 votes, or 16 percent, in Tuesday's primary election.
The winner of the runoff faces no Democratic opponent in the November election.
Burris helped rally support for the private option plan, which uses federal Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for poor Arkansans. The state's surgeon general estimated last week that about 160,000 people have applied for coverage under the private option.
Flippo criticized Burris for his support of the private option, saying the state cannot afford the expansion.