3 congressmen take GOP races by wide margins

Crawford, Hill, Womack win

Three of Arkansas' congressmen, from left: Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District; Rep. French Hill, 2nd District; and Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District.
Three of Arkansas' congressmen, from left: Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District; Rep. French Hill, 2nd District; and Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District.

The three Arkansas congressmen who faced Republican challengers won by wide margins in Tuesday's primary election.

In Arkansas' 1st Congressional District, six-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford fought off two Republican challengers -- state Rep. Brandt Smith and attorney Jody Shackelford.

With an estimated 96.77% of votes counted, unofficial returns were:

Crawford 63,935

Smith 11,953

Shackelford 9,809

Crawford said he was pleased with the result and pointed to his constituent work.

"[It] really starts with constituent service," he said.

The state's redrawn 1st Congressional District now includes 30 of Arkansas' 75 counties and part of Pulaski County. The district stretches from Boone County in Northwest Arkansas eastward to the Missouri Bootheel and Tennessee and south to Louisiana.

Crawford, of Jonesboro, is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. He ran with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Crawford voted in line with Trump's positions 95.5 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight, a data-driven news and analysis website.

The primary election win underscores the political viability of Crawford, the only member of Arkansas' congressional delegation who voted to object to certified election results from the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021.

An investigation of the 2020 election by the Associated Press found fewer than 475 potential cases of voter fraud out of 25.5 million ballots cast for president across six states Trump had disputed.

Crawford said in a statement after the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol that his "opposition to the electors was about the process by which they were seated -- nothing more."

Crawford, in a recent interview, said he's received an overall positive response from his constituents on the certification vote.

In the Nov. 8 general election, Crawford will face state Democrat Rep. Monte Hodges of Blytheville and independent Roger B. Daugherty.

In Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, U.S. Rep. French Hill was challenged by Conrad Reynolds of Conway, a combat veteran who works as a government consultant on intelligence matters.

With an estimated 87.5% of votes counted, unofficial returns were:

Hill 48,840

Reynolds 34,594

Hill said he wasn't surprised by the results for two reasons.

"I had excellent receptions from ordinary citizens and from leadership throughout the counties. [They all] reinforced their strong interest in me being renominated," he said. "And secondly, I think it's a real credit to the hard work of the professional staff that for seven years has answered the phone calls, answered the mail."

Hill, of Little Rock, is a former banker and four-term congressional incumbent who serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

In a pre-election interview, Hill said he's focused on the issues that families are talking about, such as inflation and an "open southwest border."

"Clearly what I've heard time and time again is the mismanagement of our country by the Biden administration," he said.

Hill says he's worked as a "principled conservative" for decades. Hill has been a staffer in the U.S. Senate and worked as a senior official in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush.

"I've been working in conservative politics for conservative causes, principally in the economic policy arena, for going on 40 years," Hill said.

It's not the first time Reynolds and Hill have competed against each other. The two were opponents in the 2014 Republican primary. Hill routed Reynolds by more than 30 points in the three-way primary.

Reynolds also previously ran for U.S. Senate in the 2010 Republican primary, capturing 5% of the vote in an eight-man race and losing to Republican John Boozman.

Hill will face Democrat Quintessa Hathaway of Sherwood and Libertarian Michael White of Little Rock in the Nov. 8 general election.

In Arkansas' 3rd Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Womack defeated challenger Neil Robinson Kumar by a comfortable margin.

With an estimated 100% of votes counted, unofficial returns were:

Womack 60,757

Kumar 16,399

Womack said he was "thrilled and honored beyond words that the people of the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District have given us such a resounding win in our primary."

"I think this is a reflection of the body of work and the fact that we show up every day," said Womack. "We take care of our constituents. There's no denying the fact that we have a very strong conservative record. And we do all the other things that go with being a member of Congress other than just voting on the floor of the House."

Womack said he has a staff of 18.

"My people just really work hard to deliver for our constituents," he said. "That is a sometimes overlooked piece of the equation."

Womack is a former Rogers mayor and retired Arkansas Army National Guard colonel who has served in Congress since 2011.

Womack is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Kumar, of Bentonville, is a law student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville who said the the most pressing issue facing 3rd District constituents and America is "the Great Replacement."

"Millions of illegal aliens are pouring across our wide-open Southern Border, with hundreds of thousands of new arrivals every month ..." Kumar wrote in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette questionnaire. "If we don't stop this endless flood of immigration now, our nation will be lost."

Womack said he has a solid record on immigration.

"I will fight to secure our border and stop the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs and human trafficking," Womack wrote in the newspaper's questionnaire. "I will protect our rights as gun owners. I will defend the unborn and ensure taxpayer dollars are not used for abortion services. ... I will uphold a strong and secure national defense strategy with the appropriate funding to give America peace through strength. Above all, I will honor my oath to the Constitution."

Womack voted to certify the 2020 election and voted for the first commission to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Womack will face two candidates in the Nov. 8 general election: Democrat Lauren Mallett-Hays of Farmington and Libertarian Michael J. Kalagias of Rogers.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman didn't face a Republican challenger in Arkansas' 4th Congressional District. He faces Democrat John White of Stephens and Libertarian Gregory Maxwell of Dover in the Nov. 8 general election.

Upcoming Events