BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) - A local judge's quest for a fourth term ended with a surprise outcome in Arkansas' Super Tuesday primary.
Benton County Judge Bob Clinard lost the contentious battle for the Republican nomination to current Justice of the Peace Barry Moehring.
Clinard, a five-year incumbent, called the result upsetting.
"I felt like I was the most qualified, had the most experience and I think I had everything on my side," said Clinard. "But I just didn't get enough votes."
Several issues could be to blame for Clinard's four-point loss (48 percent to 52 percent) to Moehring, including voter discontent and their desire for change, Moehring said.
"I think change is a fairly common denominator across all of those elections," said Moehring. "While my kind of change represents something different than at the national level, I think that voters are looking for people who will bring change to what's happening around them."
Clinard said he's proud of what he accomplished in office, and mentioned his work with the road department and the construction of a new courthouse in Benton County.
It was a surprising result for Clinard, who said he was simply outspent by his competition. He said he'll continue to do his job for the remainder of his term.
"I met with my staff this morning and I said "We're not doing one thing different for the next nine months,'" said Clinard. "'I want you to work hard, I want you to serve the taxpayers.'"
Moehring said he looked forward to working with Clinard as his campaign sets its sights on the November general election, where he'll face Libertarian candidate Ronnie Smith and write-in candidate Jeff Broadston.