Democratic Race for Lt. Governor Heats Up

JUNE 12, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:45 P.M. CDT

ARKANSAS -- Tuesday, June 13th is the official day for runoff elections in the state primaries. As the hours draw to a close, the 2 candidates remaining for Lt. Governor, Tim Wooldridge and Bill Halter are exchanging attacks and even with the personal accusations, they do both agree on one thing.

"When there is negative campaign, I think that the focus leaves where the focus should be and this is not about my opponent or me. It's about Arkansas citizens and our working hard to provide hope for them," says Candidate Tim Wooldridge.

"I think voters see through all that. They recognize that this should be and I hope will be about the future direction for the state of Arkansas and what we really can do on issues that matter," says Candidate Bill Halter.

Wooldridge says the negative allegations started when he was forced to answer questions about his own past. In doing that, he discovered things he thought Arkansans should know about Bill Halter.

"We tried to at least let people know a little bit about this guy who just moved to the state and spent almost a million dollars of out of state money to define himself. No questions have been asked of him. Where did the money come from? Tell us a little bit about him," says Wooldridge.

"I'm a fourth generation Arkansan. My great grandfather helped settle Conway with a group of immigrants. I think those sort of things are a far field from what Arkansans are really concerned about. I'm much more focused on education, economic development, and protecting seniors. As far as the mystery man thing goes, I've been nominated by President Clinton to a Senate confirmed position. There was an F.B.I. background check as a result of that. I think I've been pretty thoroughly examined," says Halter.

Both candidates have used commercials to make accusations. One Tim Wooldridge commercial accuses Halter of making money from online gambling and internet pornography. One Bill Halter commercial attacks Wooldridge's vote against tax breaks for veterans.

Regardless, Tuesday voters will either look past the numerous allegations from both candidates, or make their vote based on these negative attacks.