Duggar fails to make runoff in Arkansas state Senate primary

FILE - Jim Bob Duggar and his family listen as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington. Duggar is among four Republicans seeking their party's nomination for a state Senate seat Tuesday, Dec.14, 2021 in a special primary election. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) (Jacquelyn Martin, AP2010)

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – A former city council member and a retired U.S. Navy captain are headed toward a runoff for the Republican nomination for an Arkansas state Senate seat, beating out candidates in a special primary that included “19 Kids and Counting” father Jim Bob Duggar.

The poll results from Tuesday's election show that Colby Fulfer, who is chief of staff for the city of Springdale, won over 46% of the vote. Steve Unger won over 36% of the vote. The two will face off in a Jan. 11 primary runoff.

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Duggar drew roughly 15% of the vote.

Fulfer was elected to the Springdale City Council in 2016 and served until 2020, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported. Unger served 31 years in the Navy. Both announced their bids in November.

They and Duggar were among four Republicans seeking their party's nomination for the seat, which opened up following the resignation of Republican Sen. Lance Eads.

The election came days after one of Duggar’s sons, Josh, was convicted in federal court of receiving and possessing child pornography.

The elder Duggar previously served one term in the Arkansas House. His large family was featured on TLC's “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV show from 2008 to 2015.

Edge Nowlin, a retired IBM engineer, was also seeking the GOP nomination. The winner of the primary will face Lisa Parks, an attorney who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday, in a Feb. 8 special election.


The story has been corrected to indicate that that Fulfer and Unger are headed toward a runoff for the Republican nomination, not that Fulfer won the Republican nomination. The headline also has been corrected.

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