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Early voting for runoff opens June 3

One statewide primary races is going to a June 10 runoff.

No one received more than 50 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for attorney general, so Little Rock lawyers Leslie Rutledge and David Sterling will compete in a runoff for the chance to face Democratic state Rep. Nate Steel of Nashville in the November general election.

Rutledge received 47 percent of the vote and Sterling received 39 percent, according to unofficial election results from the secretary of state’s office. North Little Rock lawyer Patricia Nation received 14 percent.

Early voting for the runoff will be conducted from Tuesday, June 3 until Monday, June 9. You can vote early at the Logan County Clerk’s officer in the corthouses at Paris and Booneville. Early voting hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Both Rutledge and Sterling have pledged that as attorney general they would fight against what they consider an overreaching federal government. Sterling has advocated bringing back the electric chair if the state cannot immediately overcome difficulties in obtaining chemicals for lethal injections; Rutledge has said she opposes using the electric chair.

Rutledge said she believes her experience, which includes being a deputy prosecutor and former counsel to the Republican National Committee, distinguishes her from Sterling.

“He has no experience in criminal law,” she told the Arkansas News Bureau. “We need an attorney general that understands criminal law. We need an attorney general with experience fighting the federal government that’s overreaching.”

Sterling said he is the more experienced candidate, saying Rutledge was a Lonoke County deputy prosecutor for only a short time.

“It’s just kind of laughable that she criticizes my lack of experience when basically I’ve got 15 years of civil practice experience, and the lion’s share of what the A.G.’s office does is handle civil lawsuits — protecting consumers, protecting our kids from cybercimes,” he said.

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