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Lincoln Faces Runoff With Halter, Boozman Looks to Win Outright

Sen. Blanche Lincoln was well under the 50 percent mark she needed to avoid a runoff in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Arkansas, and she will now move to a June 8 runoff against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

The Associated Press called the race as headed for a runoff with about 50 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night. Lincoln held just 44 percent while Halter had 42 percent. Halter was being aided in keeping Lincoln’s vote total down by an unexpectedly strong performance by the third candidate in the race, D.C. Morrison, who took 14 percent.

On the Republican side, Arkansas Rep. John Boozman appears headed to achieving the majority of the vote he needed to win the GOP Senate nomination outright.

Boozman was just above the 50 percent mark while his closest competitor in the crowded eight-way race, former state Sen. Jim Holt, was at 16 percent. Holt was his party’s nominee against Lincoln in 2004.

Meanwhile, there were some early calls by the Associated Press in Arkansas House primaries. Highly touted GOP recruit Tim Griffin easily earned his party’s nomination in the open 2nd district seat of retiring Rep. Vic Snyder (D). Further northeast in the 1st district, farm broadcaster Rick Crawford won his primary against former Congressional aide Princella Smith (R) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Marion Berry (D).

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