State Representative Bobby J. Pierce edged out fellow state legislator Garry L. Smith to secure a spot on the Nov. 6 general election ballot as the Democratic candidate for the state Senate District 27 seat.

State Representative Bobby J. Pierce edged out fellow state legislator Garry L. Smith to secure a spot on the Nov. 6 general election ballot as the Democratic candidate for the state Senate District 27 seat.

Pierce will challenge Republican candidate Henry L. Frisby II, who was unopposed in the primary Tuesday.

The final, but unofficial vote tally, gave 3,642 votes or 52.15 percent to Pierce and 3,342 votes or 47.85 percent to Smith. Pierce carried Jefferson, Grant, Cleveland and Calhoun counties while Smith took Ouachita and Union counties.

Pierce was happy with the results and looking forward to a good campaign moving towards November.

“I am pleased and proud of Jefferson county and all of the counties,” Pierce said. “We’ve got some work to do in some of them. I plan to let people know that I’m going to work hard for them. I plan on working for everybody. Garry [Smith] and I ran a good, clean race and I’m pleased with everybody’s hard work.”

“It’s going to be a long run up to November,” Pierce said. “It’s going to be a race. Any time you’re in a race it’s a race.”

Pierce said a promising exploratory oil drilling effort near El Dorado will likely produce jobs that require technical skills.

“We’re going to need people who are trained to fill the jobs that open up,” Pierce said. “That is why vocational education is so important.”