Berry, Stumbaugh Square Off in Debate for 1st District's Congressional Seat

OCTOBER 26, 2006 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Marion Berry, the incumbent congressman in the state's First District, says he is proud of his accomplishments in office and looks forward to re-election as part of a Democratic majority that will be able to get even more things done.

But his Republican challenger, Mickey ``Stubby'' Stumbaugh, last night accused the incumbent of ineffectiveness.

The two met last night in the Conway studios of the Arkansas Educational Television Network for a debate that was broadcast statewide.

Stumbaugh said the incumbent's lack of effectiveness showed in not getting approval for a highway bill that benefits the First District. He said it stems in part from how Berry deals with other members of Congress. He accused Berry of calling another lawmaker a, quote, ``Howdy-Doody-looking nimrod,'' unquote. Howdy Doody was the freckled-face, grinning star of a children's marionette-puppet show on television in the 1950s.

Stumbaugh said it's no wonder nothing gets done, with an Arkansas congressman busy out there calling other congressmen names.

Berry didn't respond directly to the accusation. He said he was proud of the work that had been accomplished, with federal help, on improving the infrastructure of the district in eastern Arkansas. He said that work allowed the region to attract such industry as the Hino Motors manufacturing plant at Marion, and said the improvements that attracted Hino began long before that company ever showed interest in Arkansas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)