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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers speaks Thursday, April 13, 2017, during a town hall meeting at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. - Photo by Jason Ivester

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack has won the Republican nomination in his bid for re-election to represent Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District.

Womack was challenged from within his own party for the first time since his first run in 2010, when he beat seven Republicans in the primary.

The Associated Press called the race at 8:32 p.m. At that time, unofficial results showed Womack with 17,775 votes and the Rev. Robb Ryerse of Springdale with 3,431 votes. About 13 percent of the vote was said to be in.

During the campaign, Ryerse said the national minimum wage should be increased from the current $7.25 an hour to about $15 an hour.

Womack questioned whether Ryerse was really a Republican, noting his support of the wage increase and "Medicare for all."

Womack got 76 percent of the vote in the 2012 general election to defeat Libertarian and Green Party candidates. In 2014, he got 79 percent of the vote in the general election to defeat his sole challenger, a Libertarian.

The outcome was similar in 2016, when Womack received 77 percent of the vote to beat another Libertarian.

The 3rd District seat has been held by Republicans since 1967.

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