Independence County recount key in Arkansas House

BATESVILLE (AP) - Independence County election officials gathered Thursday to recount ballots in a legislative race that will determine whether Republicans can hold onto a majority of seats in the 100-member Arkansas House of Representatives.

Republican John K. Hutchison defeated Democrat L.J. Bryant by 44 votes last week. Bryant sought a recount but made no significant dent during new tallies in Craighead, Jackson and Poinsett counties. After Thursday's recount in Batesville, only four military ballots remain. They must be in by the end of business Friday.

The GOP holds a 51-48-1 majority over Democrats and the Green Party in the House. If Bryant flips the results, neither party would have a majority.

Republicans haven't controlled either chamber at the state Capitol since Reconstruction - but will take control of the Senate in January.

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