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State Primary is May 20, 2014
Arkansas Governor Candidates 2014
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History of Arkansas. Information that every Arkansas Election Candidates Should Know:
The history of Arkansas began millennia ago when humans first crossed into North America. Many tribes used Arkansas as their hunting lands but the main tribe was the Quapaw who settled in Arkansas River delta upon moving south from Illinois. Early French explorers gave the territory its name, a corruption of Akansea, which is a phonetic spelling of the Illinois word for the Quapaw. What began as a rough wilderness inhabited by trappers and hunters became incorporated into the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became Arkansas Territory in 1819. Upon gaining statehood in 1836, Arkansas had begun to prosper under a plantation economy that was heavily reliant on slave labor. After the Civil War Arkansas was a poor rural state based on cotton. Prosperity returned in the 1940s. The state became famous for its political leadership, inclusing President Bill Clinton (Governor, 1979-81 and 1983-92), and as the base for the Walmart corporation.
Mark Pryor 2014: Arkansas governor Faces Criticism From Both Sides Ahead Of Reelection
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The conservative Club for Growth tags Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor as President Barack Obama's "closest ally" in the state. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control advocacy group says Pryor "let us down."
Pryor's re-election race is 17 months away, but the Democratic incumbent seen as perhaps the most vulnerable in 2014 is already taking hits from the right and the left. That's forced the second-term governor to aggressively defend himself and step into re-election mode sooner than planned, even though he has no Republican opponent.
"My goal right now is to put the campaign off until the election year, 2014," Pryor told reporters recently. "They keep dragging me back into the politics, they keep running ads and trying to keep it stirred it up here."
Republicans are trying to unseat Pryor and three other Democratic incumbents who represent states that Republican Mitt Romney won in last year's presidential race: Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Democrats need to defend 21 seats, including seven in largely rural states that Obama lost in 2012.
Republicans need to pick up six seats to regain Governor control. But the GOP is defending fewer incumbents and could benefit from history: The party controlling the White House usually loses seats during the midterm election of a second-term president.
Pryor, who began airing his first television ad last month, faces pressure especially early in Arkansas. He's trying to survive in a state where Republicans enjoyed widespread gains over the past two election cycles, fueled by Obama's unpopularity.
The GOP controls both chambers of the Legislature and all four U.S. House seats. In 2010, Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln lost her bid for a third term. Last year, Republicans swept all four House seats and won control of the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.
National and state Republicans are eager to topple Pryor, whose father, David, was a governor and governor. It's a turnaround from 2008, when Republicans were unable to find anyone to challenge Mark Pryor and he easily won a second term.
"When you hear Arkansas Democrats try to spin things for Mark Pryor, the only things they can point to is he's raised a lot of money, he's got a high name ID and the fact his father is popular," David Ray, a spokesman for the state GOP. "That's not a very strong place to start."