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Democrats gather for State Party Convention

Arkansas' top Democrats are trying to prevent a Republican takeover of the state by alleging that the GOP wants to nationalize this year's election and make the state Legislature as gridlocked as Congress.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' top Democrats are trying to prevent a Republican takeover of the state by alleging that the GOP wants to nationalize this year's election and make the state Legislature as gridlocked as Congress.

State Democrats gathered Saturday for the party's annual convention as they prepare for an election where the Legislature could go Republican for the first time since Reconstruction.

Gov. Mike Beebe warned members of his party that Republicans want to make the November election hinge on national rather than state issues. He said Democrats should not let Republicans define them by those terms.

Republicans made major gains in 2010 and now control three of the state's four congressional seats. GOP leaders believe they're poised to win control of the majority-Democrat Legislature and the state's remaining Democratic congressional seat.

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