Republicans firmly won the Arkansas State Senate for the first time since Reconstruction, but control of the Arkansas House is still an undecided matter.
With expectations for huge gains in both chambers of the General Assembly, the GOP delivered in the Senate picking up 21 seats to the Democrats 13. One seat in southeast Arkansas saw a Democrat leading, but two ballot boxes remaining to be counted. Needing only 18 seats to win, Republicans will control the capitol’s upper chamber with a clear majority.
However, the fate of the House is unclear.
With designs on picking up 60 or more seats, Republicans sprinted to early leads only to see Democrats make up ground as final races were decided. In the end, the Republicans firmly held 50 seats to the Democrats 48. One Green Party candidate, a former Democrat, ran unopposed in an east Arkansas House race.
House District 52, which pitted Republican John Hutchison against Democrat L.J. Bryant, ended late Tuesday night with Hutchison holding a 45-vote lead. However, 200 provisional ballots remained to be counted, which could sway the outcome of the election and the balance of the House.