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Two more incumbents fall in Arkansas Senate primary runoffs

by Michael R. Wickline | June 21, 2022 at 10:48 p.m.
Former Arkansas Sen. Bryan King (left) and Rep. John Payton of Wilburn beat incumbent senators in the GOP primary runoff on June 21, 2022.

A pair of Arkansas senators lost re-election on Tuesday in the primary runoff election.

Former Arkansas Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest ousted state Sen. Bob Ballinger of Ozark in Tuesday’s runoff in the state Senate District 28 Republican primary.

State Rep. John Payton of Wilburn beat state Sen. James Sturch of Batesville in the GOP runoff for District 22.

In a third state Senate runoff on Tuesday, businessman Tyler Dees of Siloam Springs handily defeated state Rep. Gayle Hendren McKenzie of Gravette in the Republican primary runoff for state Senate District 35.

State law requires a runoff between the two top vote-getters in the primary election if no candidate wins a majority of the votes in the primary, which this year was held on May 24.

The state Senate is currently comprised of 27 Republicans, seven Democrats and independent Sen. Jim Hendren of Sulphur Springs.

Ballinger and Sturch are the third and fourth Republican incumbents in the Senate to lose in this year’s elections so far.

In the May 24 primary, Sen. Bill Sample of Hot Springs was beat by Garland County Quorum Court member Matt McKee of Pearce.

King will take on Eureka Springs Democrat Jim Wallace, an artist and owner of Paradise Pottery, in the Nov. 8 general election.

Payton is unopposed in November.

Dees will face Libertarian candidate Doug Peterson of Prairie Grove in the Nov. 8 general election.

Check state's runoff results at arkansasonline.com/2022primaryrunoff/

A previous version of this story gave the wrong number of Republican incumbents in the Senate to lose in this year’s elections.

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