Scott Flippo of Mountain Home overcame a slight loss he was dealt in Marion County three weeks ago and Tuesday used the turnaround to propel him to victory over state Representative John Burris of Harrison in the Republican runoff election for the state Senate District 17 seat. Complete but unofficial returns show Flippo, owner of a Bull Shoals assisted living facility, defeated Burris by 201 votes out of more than 7,600 votes cast in Baxter, Marion and Boone counties which comprise the senate district. Flippo built a narrow lead early and held on to beat Burris 3,913 to 3,712 votes.
The Flippo and Burris campaign was a bitter one that focused primarily on their differences in the private-option form of Medicaid expansion. Burris was one of the architects of the program and Flippo vowed to fight for its repeal.
Just as they did in the primary election, Flippo captured Baxter County and Burris won Boone County, but it was in Marion County where Flippo reversed a 63 vote deficit from three weeks ago. According to Marion County tabulations Tuesday night, Flippo gathered 719 votes to 481 for Burris, a 238 vote victory. Flippo said after the primary election three weeks ago, his campaign strengthened their efforts in Marion County.
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In Baxter County, Flippo received 59 percent of the votes to 41 percent for Burris. Flippo outpolled the veteran state representative 2,062 votes to 1,451. The official voter turnout in Baxter County was just under 14 percent of the county's 27,844 voters.
Boone County voters gave the nod to Burris. He received 61 percent of the vote to Flippo's 39 percent. With just under 15 percent of Boone County voters going to the polls, Burris had 1,780 votes to Flippo's 1,132.
Flippo's victory means the state senate seat continues to be held by a Mountain Home resident, dating back to 1975. Current State Senator Johnny Key chose not to seek re-election.
In the only other race on the ballot, Baxter County voters opted for David Sterling over Leslie Rutledge in a Republican runoff for their party's nomination for attorney general. Sterling took 59 percent of the votes compared to 41 percent for Rutledge. Statewide, voters gave the GOP nomination to Rutledge.
Sterling also won in Marion County with 648 votes to 582 for Rutledge.
Boone County voters also went with Sterling. He received 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Rutledge.
In a Republican runoff for county judge in Boone County, Robert Hathaway defeated Dan Harness. Hathaway captured 69 percent of the vote compared to 31 percent for Dan Harness.
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