Early voting begins for Arkansas primary and judicial races

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Early voting began Monday for Arkansas’ primary election, which features crowded races for a Senate seat and some of the state’s top offices.

Voters can begin casting ballots early for the May 24 election, which will also include nonpartisan races for state Supreme Court and other judicial seats.

The top races include Republican Sen. John Boozman’ s reelection bid. The two-term senator has the backing of former President Donald Trump, the state’s top Republicans and groups like the National Rifle Association. But he faces a challenge from former NFL player Jake Bequette, conservative activist Jan Morgan and Stuttgart pastor Heath Loftis. Natalie James, Dan Whitfield and Jack Foster are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The election also features open primaries for the governor’s office. Sarah Sanders, who served as Trump’s press secretary, is running against former talk radio host Doc Washburn for the Republican nomination. Chris Jones, Anthony Bland, James “Rus” Russell, Supha Xayprasith-Mays and Jay Martin are running for the Democratic nomination.

Other crowded primaries include the six-candidate race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Two of the state’s Supreme Court justices also face challenges in the nonpartisan race for their seats.

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