Incumbent Steve Womack (R) and Clint Penzo (R) are running in the Republican primary in Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent Steve Womack (R) and Clint Penzo (R) are running in the Republican primary election for U.S. House in Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District on March 5, 2024.

Womack has represented the district in the U.S. House since being elected in 2010. He earlier served as mayor of Rogers, Arkansas, and on the Rogers City Council. Penzo is a first-term member of the Arkansas Senate who earlier served three terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Since Womack was first elected, he has faced two other primary challengers. In 2022, Womack defeated Neil Kumar (R) 78.7%-21.3%. In 2018, he defeated Robb Ryerse (R) 84.2%-15.8%.

Penzo said he was running because Womack had fallen out of touch with the district, adding, “I have had so many people reach out to me and express their displeasure. I wouldn’t run if I didn’t think I could win.” Womack said he would seek to continue “advancing our shared conservative values, supporting our nation’s military, and answering to the needs of my constituents.”

Womack criticized House Freedom Caucus-aligned representatives who opposed a package of spending bills the House majority had been advancing in 2023 and said the caucus prioritized making cuts to spending over avoiding a government shutdown: “It’s one thing if what you’re demanding has a chance to become the law of the land, but it’s a whole other thing if you’re doing it just to be stubborn.” Penzo criticized Womack for his role in the budgetary process, saying Womack “continues to vote with Democrats to increase deficit spending. The national debt has doubled since he’s been in Congress. We deserve better.”

As of December 19, 2023, The Cook Political ReportInside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball all rated the general election Solid/Safe Republican. A Daily Kos analysis of congressional districts following redistricting after the 2020 census found that Donald Trump (R) won 60.2% of the 2020 presidential vote in the 3rd District to Joe Biden’s (D) 36.8%. The last Democrat to represent the district was James William Trimble (D) in 1964.