Jim Bob Duggar Loses Arkansas Primary Bid Days After Son Josh Convicted in Porn Case

Jim Bob Duggar, a former Arkansas state representative and the patriarch of the Duggar family has lost the Republican nomination for an Arkansas State Senate seat.

The 19 Kids and Counting star failed to receive enough votes to progress as the Republican State Senate District 7 candidate. Candidates Colby Fulfer and Steve Unger will participate in a runoff election on January 11.

"I want to thank those of you who voted for me, volunteered, contributed, and supported me in my race for Arkansas State Senate District 7," Duggar said in a statement on his Facebook page. "I am so honored to have been surrounded by some really great people in this campaign. It has been a difficult season for our family, so I am particularly grateful to those of you who have offered your prayers and encouragement."

The "difficult season" Duggar referred to is likely attributed to his son, Josh Duggar, being convicted of downloading and possessing child sex abuse images on his work computer. During his trial, a family friend also testified that Josh regularly molested young girls since he was a boy. He was found guilty on all charges and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

"Above all, I am thankful to God for His love and kindness toward us, and pray He will cause His face to shine on our state and nation," Duggar's statement continued. The post, as well as others on his Facebook page, have the comments turned off, although the statement received over 260 laughing emoji reactions.

Jim Bob Duggar 2010
Former reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar was among four Republicans that sought their party's nomination for an Arkansas state Senate seat in a December 14, 2021, special primary election. Above, Duggar and his family listen as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speak to the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on September 17, 2010. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

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

Duggar drew roughly 15 percent 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.

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 February 8 special election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Josh Duggar
Jim Bob Duggar thanked voters for supporting him during a "difficult season," likely referring to son Josh Duggar's conviction on child sex abuse images possession. Here, Josh Duggar's Arkansas booking photo can be seen after his arrest in April 2021. Washington County Sheriff’s Office/Getty