East Arkansas U.S. House Rivals Clash on Budget Views

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 7:48 am  

"I believe that while cuts were necessary, a responsible and reasoned approach was the way it was taken by the Agriculture Committee in a bipartisan basis," Crawford said.

Ellington said he's concerned about what will happen with the legislation when Congress returns after the Nov. 6 election.

"If folks think this farm bill is bad now ... just wait until after the lame duck Congress takes over and see what happens," Ellington said. "I believe there will be even more cuts, and it's very concerning."

Democrats initially viewed the 1st District as their best chance at reclaiming a congressional seat they lost in the 2010 election, especially after the state Legislature last year redrew the district's boundaries to include traditionally Democrat-leaning areas in southeast Arkansas. But Ellington, a local prosecutor, has struggled organizationally and financially in his bid against Crawford.

The televised debate was the first between Crawford and Ellington, who has criticized the incumbent congressman for not appearing at other televised debates.

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