Beebe Wins Governor's Race

NOVEMBER 7, 2006 - Posted at 7:32 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Democrat Mike Beebe reclaimed the Arkansas governor's office from Republicans after a decade of GOP. control, highlighting an overwhelming sweep of constitutional offices for his party.

Beebe declared victory before supporters and said the concession call he received from Republican opponent Asa Hutchinson indicated the end of a contentious election.

Beebe says he plans to focus on proposals he made throughout the campaign, including the gradual elimination of the state's six cent tax on groceries and expansion of pre-kindergarten programs.

He said, ``From this point forward, there are no Democrats or Republicans or independents, there are only Arkansans.''

Beebe mentioned Republican Win Rockefeller -- the late lieutenant governor who dropped out of the race for governor when he learned he had a rare blood condition. Rockefeller died this summer. Beebe said Arkansans should remember Rockefeller, his commitment and the sacrifice he made for the state.

Hutchinson told supporters that Beebe's campaign workers ``ran hard and worked hard and won the vote of the people.''

With 71 percent of Arkansas' two-thousand-562 precincts reporting unofficial results, Beebe had 57 percent of the vote and Hutchinson had 39 percent.

Green Party nominee Jim Lendall had one-point-six percent of the vote and independent candidate Rod Bryan had two percent. Lendall hoped to win three percent of the vote to earn the Green Party a spot on the 2008 presidential ballot.

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