Griffin wins GOP nom for Lt. Gov.; Lea to represent Republicans for Auditor

LITTLE ROCK — U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has won the Republican nomination for Arkansas lieutenant governor.

Griffin defeated state Reps. Debra Hobbs and Andy Mayberry in Tuesday's primary election. He'll face Democrat John Burkhalter and Libertarian Christopher Olson in the November election.

Griffin announced last year that he wouldn't run for another term representing the 2nd Congressional District, saying he wanted to spend more time closer to his family.

The winner of the November election will fill a post that has been vacant since Feb. 1, when Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr stepped down over ethics violations tied to his campaign and office spending.

State Rep. Andrea Lea of Russellville has advanced to November's general election as the Republican Party's nominee for Arkansas auditor.

Lea defeated Ken Yang of Benton in balloting Tuesday. Lea will face Democrat Regina Hampton Stewart and Libertarian Brian Leach on Nov. 4.

During her campaign, Lea cited her experience as a former Pope County justice of the peace, a city council member and a three-term legislator. Yang recently graduated from Hendrix College with a history degree and is the chief financial officer for his family's restaurant in Benton. He was campaign manager for Secretary of State Mark Martin in 2010.

The incumbent is Charlie Daniels, who has announced plans to retire when his four-year term expires in January.

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