Arkansas: Tom Cotton Wins GOP Primary

Posted May 23, 2012 at 12:17am

Veteran, attorney and rising GOP star Tom Cotton won a solid victory in Arkansas’ 4th Congressional district GOP primary, avoiding a runoff with 2010 nominee Beth Anne Rankin.

With 62 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Cotton. He had 56 percent of ballots cast, Rankin had 38 percent and a third candidate, John Cowart, had 6 percent.

Cotton, a Harvard Law School graduate who volunteered for the Army infantry after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the favorite to become the Congressman in this open Republican-leaning seat. Rep. Mike Ross (D) announced his retirement last July.

The winner of a likely June 12 Democratic runoff between state Sen. Gene Jeffress and attorney Q. Byrum Hurst will face off against Cotton, most recently a consultant at McKinsey & Co., in November. At 12:10 a.m., the AP had yet to call that primary race.

Cotton has been an extraordinary fundraiser and poses a huge challenge to Democrats looking to keep this seat.