Contested state legislative primaries in Arkansas down by 61%

Arkansas has 24 contested state legislative primaries this year, a 61% decrease from 2022.

Of the 24 contested primaries, there are 10 for Democrats and 14 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is the same as in 2022, and a decade high. For Republicans, the number is down 73% from 52 in 2022.

Ten incumbents face primary challenges, representing 10% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is lower than in 2022 and 2018 but roughly the same as in 2020 and 2016. 

Of the 10 incumbents in contested primaries, four are Democrats and six are Republicans.

Overall, 203 major party candidates — 86 Democrats and 117 Republicans — filed to run. All 100 House and 18 of 35 Senate seats are up for election.

Thirteen of those seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 11% of seats up for election will be represented by newcomers next year.

Arkansas has had a Republican trifecta since the party won control of the governorship in 2014. Republicans currently have an 82-18 majority in the House and a 29-6 majority in the Senate.

Arkansas’ state legislative primaries are scheduled for March 5, the first — along with Alabama, California, North Carolina, and Texas — statewide primary date of the 2024 state legislative election cycle.

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