Familiar faces, issues mark Ark. politics in 2013

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Despite all the talk of the changed electoral landscape in Arkansas after recent GOP gains, there were plenty of familiar faces, themes and issues that highlighted the state's politics in 2013.

A two-term senator faced a frenzied and expensive re-election fight, fending off attacks from Republicans who tried to tie the lawmaker to President Barack Obama.

The president's signature health care overhaul again loomed over the legislative session, with lawmakers divided over how to implement it at the state level.

The state's congressional delegation grappled with an unpopular federal government shutdown, while ethical miscues undermined the public's trust in elected officials from both parties.

And once again, a Democratic political veteran named Mike was battling with a Republican named Asa for the state's top office.

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