Runoff elections are normally low-voter-turnout affairs. That proved to be the case in Logan County for the July 10 runoff election for the Republican nomination for Attorney General.
Little Rock lawyer Leslie Rutledge won the Republican nomination for Attorney General in the runoff, defeating primary opponent David Sterling.
Rutledge, a former Republican National Committee lawyer, will face Democratic state Rep. Nate Steel of Nashville and Libertarian Aaron Cash of Springdale in the November general election. Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is prevented by term limits from seeking a third term.
Statewide, Rutledge got 43,722 votes or 58.91 percent of the votes cast, compared to Sterling’s 30,496 votes or 41.09 percent of the votes cast. A total of 74,218 votes were cast statewide.
The margin between the two candidates was closer in Logan County. Rutledge got 225 votes compared to Sterling’s 222 votes. The 447 votes cast represented a 3 percent turnout and a stark contrast to the GOP primary which was held in May. Then, 1,981 votes were cast for Republican candidates in Logan County.
In a victory speech to her supporters at the Clarion Hotel in Little Rock, Rutledge said she won despite being outspent by out-of-state groups in the primary and the runoff. The groups, American Future Fund and Judicial Crisis Network, paid for television ads criticizing Rutledge for not advocating a “Stand Your Ground” law.
“I think Arkansans sent a very strong message tonight, that Arkansas is not for sale,” Rutledge said. “And as attorney general, I want you all to know that I will always stand my ground to protect Arkansas.”
Rutledge was the top vote-getter in the May 20 primary but failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote and thus avoid a runoff. She received 47 percent of the vote; Sterling, a Little Rock lawyer in private practice, received 39 percent; and North Little Rock Lawyer Patricia Nation received 14 percent in that election.