Rutledge wins Republican nomination for attorney general

Posted: June 10, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2014 at 9:20 p.m.

Attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge waves to passing motorists while campaigning Tuesday morning in Little Rock.

Leslie Rutledge has won the Republican nomination for attorney general in Tuesday's runoff election.

The Associated Press called the race for Rutledge over opponent David Sterling at 9:04 p.m. She was leading 36,475-25,557 with 51 percent of the votes in at 9:20 p.m.  

Rutledge, a former attorney for Gov. Mike Huckabee and the Republican National Committee, won three weeks after falling short of winning the primary outright over Sterling and third-place finisher Patricia Nation.

She finished with 47 percent of the vote in that contest to Sterling's 39 percent, necessitating the only statewide runoff race Tuesday. Nation later endorsed Rutledge.

The race leading up to the runoff between the two Republicans was marked by a series of negative ads. Rutledge on Tuesday said Sterling's refusal to denounce an outside group's advertising that likened her to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi was "dishonest." Sterling, meanwhile, accused Rutledge of running "nasty attacks" on his character, including saying he took money from the pornography industry by representing an Arkansas lingerie store in a 2009 lawsuit.

Rutledge will face Democratic nominee state Rep. Nate Steel of Nashville and Libertarian nominee Aaron Cash in November.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.