By ANDREW DeMILLO
HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is taking the witness stand for the first time as governor and defending a legislative redistricting plan that a state senator says dilutes the black vote in his district.
Beebe is the first witness scheduled Tuesday in a weeklong trial before a panel of 3 federal judges over state Sen. Jack Crumbly's lawsuit challenging his new district's lines.
Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, both Democrats, approved the new maps. Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican, opposed them. The three comprise the Board of Apportionment in charge of legislative redistricting.
Beebe's testimony will put him face-to-face with former political rival Asa Hutchinson, who is representing Martin in the case. Beebe defeated Hutchinson in the 2006 governor's race.