The Top 10 Business Stories of 2010

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 12:00 am  

1. Republican Victories
The General Election of November 2010 was historic, changing the political landscape of Arkansas.

Republicans candidates won nearly all of their elections, ranging from congressional races to seats in the state General Assembly.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican John Boozman beat incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln even though she outspent him $11 million to $2 million and touted her position as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Lincoln had been the first Arkansas senator to hold that seat.  

But voter frustration with the new health care reform law and slow economic recovery combined to propel new faces, Republican faces, into office. Nearly all candidates with a "D" next to their names suffered from the anti-Democrat, anti-incumbent and anti-Obama movement experienced not just in Arkansas but throughout the United States.

In the 1st Congressional District, Republican Rick Crawford won his race, making him the first Republican to hold the seat since Reconstruction. In the 2nd District, retiring Democrat U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder was replaced by conservative Republican Tim Griffin, who defeated Democrat Joyce Elliott.

Come January, Republicans will control four of Arkansas' six seats in the U.S. Congress.

On Nov. 2, Republicans also did well in constitutional elections, winning the posts of lieutenant governor, secretary of state and land commissioner.

The Republican tidal wave on Election Day carried through to the races for the Arkansas Legislature. The GOP won all seven state Senate races, though Democrats still will hold a narrow majority: 20 to 15.

The Arkansas House of Representatives will have 44 Republicans in January, a result of the GOP gaining 15 seats. The previous record number of Republicans in the House had been 30.

One of the Democratic bright spots on Nov. 2 was Gov. Mike Beebe. Not only did he trounce Republican candidate Jim Keet, but Beebe won in every county, making it one of the most decisive victories ever by an Arkansas politician - on a night that, otherwise, was a rout of Democrats by the GOP.

2. Health Care Reform
In March, President Barack Obama signed landmark legislation to overhaul the health care industry in an attempt to provide coverage to the millions of Americans without insurance.

In more than 2,000 pages, the health care reform law - the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act - spelled out how by 2014 most Americans would have to buy health insurance or face civil penalties.



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