Bill Halter Quits Race for Governor to Avoid 'Divisive Primary'

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 10:05 am  

Bill Halter

Halter, a former Clinton administration official, ran briefly against Beebe for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2006 before dropping out of that race to seek the lieutenant governor's office. Just as he did Monday, Halter cited a desire to avoid a divisive fight within the party as his reason for leaving the governor's race.

With the support of labor unions and activists, Halter in 2010 challenged U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln for the Democratic nomination. He lost in a runoff to Lincoln, who was defeated in her re-election bid that fall.

Halter won the lieutenant governor's race in 2006, after campaigning primarily on his support for a lottery to fund college scholarships. Halter championed the amendment setting up the lottery that voters approved in 2008. Arkansas began selling tickets in 2009.

During his bid for governor this year, Halter called for expanding that scholarship program so it would allow high school graduates who maintain a 2.5 GPA to be able to attend most of the state's colleges and universities tuition-free.

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