Clarke Tucker has secured the Democratic nomination in Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District race, winning out over three other candidates to challenge Republican French Hill in November.
The Associated Press called the race at 9:55 p.m. At that time, unofficial results showed Tucker with 15,494 votes, Gwen Combs with 5,703 votes, Paul Spencer with 3,475 votes and Jonathan Dunkley with 2,637 votes. About 67 percent of the vote was said to be in.
Tucker, an attorney and two-term state lawmaker from Little Rock, had been painted by pundits and his three opponents as the more moderate choice. He’d also been portrayed as the favorite, backed by national party officials and a campaign war chest that was triple the combined amount of his opponents.
Combs and Spencer are both teachers in Little Rock, while Dunkley is the director of operations at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. All three campaigned in support of Medicare-for-all, while Tucker supports “Medicare X,” a proposal that would allow people to buy into Medicare or keep their employer-based plans.
Tucker, 37, has said that his bout with cancer amid rising health care costs pushed him to run for Congress and pointed to his ability to effect change by working with colleagues across the political aisle.
He told The Associated Press after winning the primary that health care has been the top concern he's heard from voters.
"If you work in the United States in 2018, you ought to be able to afford life’s basic needs,” he said in his speech to supporters Tuesday night.
Tucker is also the founding chairman of the board of directors of the Tiger Foundation, an organization designed to support Little Rock Central High School.
Read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
Arkansas Online reporter Rachel Herzog and The Associated Press contributed to this report.