Beebe Supports Efforts to Prevent Ex-Lawmaker's Return to House

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe said he would support the state Democratic party's efforts to prevent former Rep. Dwayne Dobbins from returning to the House seat he left almost three years ago to settle a felony sexual assault charge.

Dobbins filed yesterday to return to the House, and has no opponent at this point.

Democratic Party chairman Bill Gwatney called on Dobbins to withdraw his name from the race.  Gwatney also is trying to find a write-in candidate to challenge Dobbins.

The governor said it was too soon to tell whether he would campaign for a write-in opponent for Dobbins.

In 2005, Dobbins resigned and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment in a plea bargain reached after the representative was arrested on a felony sexual assault charge.  According to prosecutors, Dobbins had fondled a 17-year-old girl at his home.

He was sentenced to one year's probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to undergo counseling.

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