Parties choose primaries to fill Ark. Senate seat

      Paul Bookout

      JONESBORO (AP) - The state Democratic and Republican parties say they'll use primary elections, rather than conventions, to choose candidates for a state Senate seat vacated after the resignation of Sen. Paul Bookout.

      The Jonesboro Sun reports that both parties sent letters Tuesday notifying Gov. Mike Beebe of their decision.

      Bookout, a Democrat, resigned Aug. 20 after an ethics panel said he spent thousands of dollars from his re-election campaign on personal items such as women's clothing and home theater equipment.

      A spokesman for Beebe says the governor will schedule election dates soon.

      Two Republicans and one Democrat have already announced plans to enter the race, and several others say they're considering a run.

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