It's a very different picture now with the GOP holding 5 of the 6 congressional seats, three of the six statewide offices, and the majority in legilsature for the first time since Reconstruction.
So how important is this election in Governor Beebe's mind?
"...if the programs that I have supported are good for the state, and obviously I believe they are, then I think that crosses party lines. I think that transcends partisanship, and, so, it's important, I think, that they follow those same models," said Beebe. "Obviously they're going to want to tweak them to suit their own particular philosophy, whoever they maybe, and they should. That's why people elect governors. But I would certainly hope that they'd continue the progress that the state has made."
It's those programs, according to Beebe, that helped navigate the state through the good times and bad.
"I never will forget when I was -- my first year in office -- things were going pretty good. The economy was rolling, and some pundits -- some columnists -- wrote, 'Well, anybody can be governor in good times'," said Beebe. "Well, we sure gave them the opportunity to see the other end of that, when -- through no fault of Arkansas's -- the world was plunged into the worst recession since the Great Depression. So, if Arkansas can do well in good times and withstand all of the downturns virtually very other state went through in bad times and then can recover in the fashion with the rest of the country without having to start from the deep hole -- which we didn't have to start from because we withstood that recession -- then I would think a continuation of those kind of approaches and those kinds of policies -- conservative budgeting, which I've always been for since I was in the senate -- will stand our state and her people in good stead."
Hear more from Governor Beebe on the issues most important to you all week long right here on KNWA as part of our exclusive series with the leader of the Natural State.