With three of six counties reporting as of 10:45 Tuesday night in the state Senate District 27 Democratic Primary, state Rep. Bobby J. Pierce was leading with 3,193 votes or 50.33 percent and state Rep. Garry L. Smith had 3,151 votes or 49.67 percent.

Ed.'s Note: Updated Wednesday at 3 p.m. All precincts have reported their results, and Pierce brought in the most votes. Results: Rep. Bobby J. Pierce 52.15% / Rep. Garry L. Smith 47.85%

With three of six counties reporting as of 10:45 Tuesday night in the state Senate District 27 Democratic Primary, state Rep. Bobby J. Pierce was leading with 3,193 votes or 50.33 percent and state Rep. Garry L. Smith had 3,151 votes or 49.67 percent.

The winner will face GOP candidate Henry L. Frisby II in the Nov. 6 general election who was unopposed in the Republican primary.

Pierce wants to continue serving the people of south Arkansas.

I want to continue to work for the technical training of young people and for education in general, Pierce said earlier this month. I worked with two-year colleges to get them the money that they need.

Pierce said that he was instrumental in finding a way to get state employees of the Forestry Commission returned to work after an incident of misappropriation of funds that occurred late last year resulted in the layoffs of 15 firefighters.

Pierce and House Speaker Robert Moore approached Gov. Mike Beebe about redirecting $550,000 from the Arkansas Agriculture Commission to the Forestry Commission to make up for a budget shortfall there. The governor agreed to redirect the funds.

I am a person who works hard, Pierce said. I dont have a college degree but I do have a degree in hard knocks. I am in my sixth year, or third term in the state House. In that time I have risen from 87th in seniority to the Speaker Pro Tem, the number two seat in the House.

Smith was hopeful as the returns continued to come in Tuesday night.

Right now I think Im behind by about 1,300 but I am still hopeful, Smith said. It is hard to say right now.

Smith is hoping to continue to work for the people of southern Arkansas.

There are a lot of things to do economically speaking as well as in education and rural health services in the southern part of the state, Smith said earlier this month. I understand the needs of the people. They are great and many. One of the big issues is to bring on the lignite development in south Arkansas. It can be made into synthetic crude oil. The natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale is peanuts compared to lignite. In my opinion we cannot ignore any energy source.

Smith is currently in his fourth year as a state representative.

He served on the Harmony Grove school board for seven-and-a-half years and was on the Quorum Court for 14 years.