State Senate Holds Historic Meeting

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A former lawmaker who is challenging his loss in a 2006 primary runoff for the Arkansas Senate told a legislative panel yesterday that the election was "un-American" and marred by fraud and manipulation.

The Senate opened a hearing in which it is being asked for the first time in its history to resolve a disputed election and consider whether to oust a sitting senator over claims of voting irregularities.  The hearing continues today in Little Rock.

The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee will recommend to the full Senate whether Senator Jack Crumby, a Widener Democrat, can remain in his east Arkansas post despite the allegations from former Representative Arnell. Willis of Helena-West Helena.  Senate District 16 serves parts of Crittenden, Lee, Phillips and St. Francis counties.

Crumbly was declared the winner in a 2006 Democratic party primary runoff through a re-count after initial results showed Willis the victor.

Willis claims there was voter fraud and ballot manipulation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)