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Farm Bureau Candidate Forum Highlights Pryor/Cotton Senate Race

Rep. Tom Cotton defended his vote against the Farm Bill before a packed room of members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau on Tuesday in North Little Rock.
North Little Rock --  Rep. Tom Cotton defended his vote against the Farm Bill before a packed room of members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau on Tuesday in North Little Rock.

Cotton, a Republican from Dardanelle, called the legislation passed by Congress in January as "bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for Arkansas."

"I know some of you think I was wrong because I did not support the farm bill," Cotton says.

Cotton was the only member of Arkansas' congressional delegation to vote against the legislation twice.

Senator Mark Pryor, in a tight re-election campaign against Cotton, addressed the Farm Bureau via a three-minute video statement.

"This farm bill isn't perfect but it's long overdue and a long way toward giving Arkansas' economy and farmers the security and certainity they need and deserve."

Pryor's campaign says the two-term senator was campaigning in Texarkana on Tuesday.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau supported the bipartisan legislation that totals over $900 billion in food stamps and farm subsidies.

Cotton called the bill flawed, wanting to instead pass a standalone farm bill and separate food stamp legislation. Both pieces of legislation passed the House last fall but made no progress in the Senate.

"Now there are some farmers that disagree with me but that's a fact of life in politics," Cotton says. "We have disagreements but we still work together on a lot of other issues."

Other candidates attending the forum included all four candidates for governor, three for lieutenant governor and two from Arkansas' second congressional district.
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