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Several appealing candidates seek the Democratic nomination for the Second District congressional seat that Vic Snyder is giving up. Most of them promise to continue the same sort of progressive representation that Snyder has provided.

Only one of them has a proven progressive record, however, and that is why state SEN. JOYCE ELLIOTT is our choice.

Throughout her career in state government – first in the House, then in the Senate – Elliott has been an outspoken and influential advocate for the poor, the sick, the under-educated, for minorities and for women. A former schoolteacher, she's a stout friend of the public schools. As a black woman, she's faced discrimination, and beaten it. She is just what the Second District needs, and the nation.

It will probably come as a surprise to many, including CIRCUIT JUDGE JOHN FOGLEMAN, that the Arkansas Times is endorsing Fogleman for the Arkansas Supreme Court. Only last month, we published a cover story highly critical of Fogleman's conduct as a prosecutor in the infamous West Memphis Three case. We still believe that certain of Fogleman's actions in that case invite censure. But in the long years since, he has been an exemplary judge, acclaimed by the state's leading lawyers. He possesses the trial court experience that his opponent lacks, experience crucial for anyone who'd sit on the state's highest court. She is, on the other hand, rich in contributions from corporate interests and she pandered to the religious rightists at the Family Council in its candidate survey.

Like quite a few other Arkansans, we suspect, we agonized over the U.S. Senate race before finally deciding on Lt. Gov. BILL HALTER, if only because he seems more a true Democrat than Sen. Blanche Lincoln does. She has had some good days – in the end, she voted for President Obama's health-care bill – and some bad, as in her continued effort to eliminate the estate tax, one of the country's few progressive taxes, paid only by the richest one percent of taxpayers, who have nothing to complain about but do so anyway. Halter is not ashamed to be seen as a friend of the worker. Lincoln reviles organized labor while snuggling up to the Chamber of Commerce, which is much too often the worker's worst enemy. Her elitist campaign has alienated some people who might otherwise have been for her, which is probably more the fault of her campaign manager than herself, but she has to take the blame.

The Times also supports WILANDRA DEAN for District 5 justice of the peace and LARRY CRANE for Pulaski County circuit and county clerk.

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