Non-Major Party Gubernatorial Candidates Debate in Conway

OCTOBER 23, 2006 - Posted at 8:08 a.m. CDT

CONWAY, AR - Greene Party gubernatorial nominee Jim Lendall says decisions on which schools to consolidate and which to close should be in the hands of local boards.  Independent candidate Rod Bryan says Arkansas farmers should be re-educated to grow crops that will serve the state first.

Bryan and Lendall met last night in a statewide televised debate.  The major party candidates...Democrat Mike Beebe and Republican Asa Hutchinson, were also invited, but didn't show up.  The debate was staged in the studios of the Arkansas Educational Television Network at Conway.

The confrontation gave Bryan and Lendall the opportunity to get their messages out to Arkansans, and to differentiate themselves from the major party candidates.  The two agreed on several issues, including the importance of education to the state's economy, which Beebe and Hutchinson agree on, but also worked to differentiate themselves from each other.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)