JONESBORO, Ark. — Fewer than 100 votes separated the top candidates from the also-rans Tuesday after ballots were counted in special party primary runoffs for a state Senate seat in northeastern Arkansas.
According to complete but unofficial returns, Jonesboro businessman Steve Rockwell led Valley View Schools Superintendent Radius Baker by 24 votes in the Democratic primary, while former AT&T manager John Cooper led Ascent Children's Services CEO Dan Sullivan by 67 votes among Republicans.
Neither candidate who trailed conceded their race Tuesday night. It wasn't immediately clear whether either would seek a recount.
If the results stand, Rockwell and Cooper would face off Jan. 14 in a special election to replace former Sen. Paul Bookout, a Democrat who resigned in August after the state Ethics Commission found that he had spent money from his re-election bid on clothing, home theater equipment and dozens of other personal items.
The returns showed Rockwell with a 1,215-1,191 lead among Democratic voters. In the GOP race, Cooper had 1,486 votes to Sullivan's 1,419.
The four candidates in Tuesday's election had advanced from a special primary in October that narrowed the field.