The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and early voting is already under way. Here are the Arkansas Times' recommendations.

GOV. MIKE BEEBE for governor. If all he'd done was stand up to the Game and Fish Commission, he'd be worth keeping, but he's also reduced the sales tax on groceries and kept state government running efficiently despite the revenue loss.

SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN for United States senator. Despite occasional lapses, she's done a lot of good for a lot of people, which is more than will ever be said of her madly partisan opponent.

JOYCE ELLIOTT for United States representative, Second Congressional District. The state senator from Little Rock is a proven, progressive legislator, like the congressman she hopes to succeed, Vic Snyder. The other guy is a political dirty trickster like his mentor, Karl Rove.

CIRCUIT JUDGE TIM FOX for the Arkansas Supreme Court. He's made brave and enlightened decisions in tough cases, such as his invalidation of a state rule prohibiting homosexual couples from serving as foster parents. A vote for Fox is a vote against the religious Far Right and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page. What's not to like?

SHANE BROADWAY for lieutenant governor. Broadway has been a competent and forward-looking state senator, and unlike his opponent, he understands that the lieutenant governor has nothing to do with federally mandated health care.

PAT O'BRIEN for secretary of state. His cleaning up of the mess in the Pulaski County clerk's office entitles him to promotion. Besides that, the secretary of state is a member of the Board of Apportionment, which will draw new legislative and Congressional boundaries after the census. That, and parking your car, are not jobs you'd want to leave to O'Brien's opponent.

DEBBIE MURPHY for state representative, House District 31.

CAROLYN STALEY for state representative, House District 32.

JOHN W. WALKER for state representative, House District 34.

SHERIFF DOC HOLLADAY for Pulaski County sheriff.

Vote NO on Issue No. 1. A proposed constitutional amendment that would establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish, it's unnecessary and irrelevant.

Vote NO on Issue No. 2. A complicated and far-reaching proposal that would, among other things, raise the interest rate that can be charged by retailers, remove entirely the interest limit on government bonds, and provide a new way for government agencies to finance bonds for energy-efficiency projects, it's too much for one bite.

The Times has no recommendation on Issue No. 3, which would make it easier for the state to issue general-obligation bonds to help industrialists build new plants.


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