Arkansas Republicans Seek Majority in Legislature

by Jeannie Nuss, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 5:45 pm  

"Those are not issues that Arkansans in the other districts are interested in," Webb said. "Those issues are solely between those candidates and the people in their districts."

Republicans need to flip three seats in the Senate or five seats in the House to claim their first majority since 1874, when the post-Civil War Reconstruction ended in Arkansas.

Webb wouldn't get into specific predictions, but he said he foresees Republicans staking out a substantial majority in both the House and Senate.

"It will be more than 18 in the Senate and more than 51 in the House," Webb said.

Democrats disagree.

"We think we are going to at least hold the numbers that we have in the Senate and House right now and are hopeful that we are going to do better than that," said Will Bond, state Democratic Party chairman

The state House has one vacancy going into Tuesday's elections. Democrat Hudson Hallum of Marion resigned this summer after pleading guilty to conspiracy in a vote fraud case. He remains on the ballot, but if he collects the most votes against Green Party candidate Fred Smith, the seat will be declared vacant and a special election will have to be held.

Smith, meanwhile, wants a judge to direct that no votes be counted for Hallum, whose name is already on the ballot. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday.

Smith gave up his seat in 2011 after being convicted in a theft case, but a judge voided his conviction and made him eligible to again hold office.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.) 



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