Ark. state Senate race an early '14 test

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The special election for a northeast Arkansas Senate seat vacated by a lawmaker who resigned over ethics violations will be an early bellwether on the fight to protect the state's Medicaid expansion, as well as Democrats' chances in the November election.

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the special election between Democrat Steve Rockwell and Republican John Cooper for state Senate District 21 seat that covers the Jonesboro area. The winner will serve the remainder of the term of former state Sen. Paul Bookout - a Democrat.

The race for Bookout's seat between Rockwell and Cooper has centered on the key issue facing lawmakers when they return for next month's fiscal session - whether to continue the state's "private option" plan to expand Medicaid.

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