5 things to know about the Arkansas election

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 4:01 am •  Published: November 7, 2012
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Here are five things to look for after Election Day in Arkansas:

1. REPUBLICANS' HISTORIC RETURN

Arkansas Republicans seized control of the state Senate and swept Arkansas' four U.S. House seats for the first time since Reconstruction Tuesday. Republicans laid claim to more than half of the state Senate's 35 seats, giving the party an edge it hasn't seen since a special session in 1874. The GOP also showed signs of significant gains in the state House.

2. FIGURING OUT FATE OF THE HOUSE

Democrats won't control the state House in January, but it's not clear whether Republicans will. High turnout and vote-counting problems led to delays on returns in a handful of Arkansas counties, leaving the fate of the state House unknown early Wednesday. The GOP held a 50-48-1 edge over Democrats and the Green Party in the state House as of early Wednesday. One race has yet to be decided, and there's no Democrat running for that seat. A party needs 51 of the House's 100 seats to claim a majority in that chamber.

3. RETURN OF THE GREEN PARTY

Green Party candidate and former Harlem Globetrotter Fred Smith won the state House 50 race in east Arkansas after a judge Tuesday ordered votes not to be counted for his opponent, former Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum. Smith is the second Green Party member to be elected to the state Legislature. Hallum resigned in September after pleading guilty to an election fraud conspiracy charge. Smith had given up the seat in 2011 after a theft conviction, but became eligible for the seat when his conviction was set aside.



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