LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Republicans will hold a 21-14 advantage in the Arkansas Senate next year after picking up a majority for the first time since Reconstruction.
The final Senate race was called Wednesday morning, with Democrat Eddie Cheatham defeating Republican Mike Akin for a Senate seat representing southeast Arkansas.
Complete but unofficial returns show Cheatham winning with 50.6% of the vote.
Arkansas was the last state in the old Confederacy to never have Republicans control a legislative chamber since the post-Civil War period.
Republicans made steady gains in recent years and closed to a 20-15 gap during a strong GOP showing nationally in 2010. The party will have increased clout when dealing with Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who has long enjoyed a high approval rating.Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.