Arkansas is holding US Senate and House primaries on Tuesday. Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. local time.
The race and the stakes:
GOP Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas is facing multiple primary challengers in Tuesday's primaries.
Boozman's main challenger is Jake Bequette, a former Arizona Razorbacks football star, US Army veteran, and New England Patriots defensive end who was on the team's practice squad during their Superbowl-winning 2014 season.
Bequette's campaign is backed by a powerful Midwestern billionaire and Republican megadonor, shipping executive Dick Uihlein.
Uihlein has spent $1.4 million in independent expenditures supporting Bequette through the Arkansas Patriots Fund, a PAC established to support Bequette, in what Politico described as "one of the best-funded and most serious efforts to dethrone an incumbent senator this year."
Boozman has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and has heavily touted himself as a Trump ally.
But Bequette has sought to portray Boozman as a career politician and "squishy," painting himself as the true Trump-allied, America First candidate. Neither Boozman nor Arkansas' junior senator, Tom Cotton, voted to object to affirming President Joe Biden's victory on January 6, 2021.
"From bragging about how tough he was on Donald Trump in 2016 to defending Liz Cheney just this past week, John Boozman has spent years working against President Trump as quietly as possible," Bequette said in one of his statements slamming Boozman. "Arkansas deserves leaders who will boldly support the America First agenda, not career politicians who only stand with Donald Trump when they stand to benefit."
Boozman has far outmatched Bequette in fundraising and spending, campaign finance records show. Boozman has raised nearly $6 million, spent $4.8 million, and has $1.5 million in cash on hand compared to $1.2 million raised and nearly $877,000 spent by Bequette.
Boozman's other Republican challengers are Jan Morgan, a gun range owner, and Heath Loftis, a pastor.
If no one candidate wins over 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a June 21 runoff.