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Highlights from Arkansas and Oklahoma Primary Elections
Thursday, March 3, 2016 7:00 AM

Arkansas Primary

With endorsements from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, three Arkansas state representatives won re-election: Rep. James Sturch, Rep. Rebecca Perry, and Rep. Sue Scott. All three, at the governor's request, had voted to authorize the use of federal Medicare funds to buy private health insurance. This issue was the main focus of the races.

Also, Sen. John Boozman easily defeated his Republican opponent, Curtis Coleman. He has a Democratic opponent in the General Election in November.

In other news, Gov. Hutchinson has called a special session of the legislature to follow the regular budget session to begin the middle of April. The special session will focus on Arkansas' private option health insurance.

Oklahoma Primary

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) emerged as the winners of Oklahoma’s Presidential Primary on Super Tuesday.

For Republicans, Sen. Cruz led the field with 34.4 percent; Donald Trump earned 28.3 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio came away with 26 percent. Physician Ben Carson got 6 percent of the vote, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich got less than 4 percent.

The outcome gave Cruz 14 Oklahoma delegates for the Republican national nominating convention, while Trump took 12 and Rubio 11. Oklahoma was one of only two bright spots in an otherwise dismal evening for the Tea Party favorite. Cruz's only other win was in his home state of Texas.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Sanders claimed 54.4 percent, giving the senator a much-needed win over national front-runner Hillary Clinton. Sanders earned 22 Oklahoma delegates compared to Clinton’s 17.

Officials with the Oklahoma State Election Board said more than 794,856 turned out to vote in the primary, breaking the old record set in 2008.