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It's happened before

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Welcoming state Rep. Linda Collins-Smith of Pocahontas to the Republican Party, after she left the Democratic Party, Lt. Gov. Mark A. Darr said, "This is an historic moment. It's the first time, at least to my knowledge, that a sitting state representative in Arkansas has switched parties during their term."

In 1970, state Rep. Sterling Cockrill of Little Rock, a Democrat and the majority leader in the House, switched to the Republican Party and ran for lieutenant governor as a Republican. He was defeated by Bob Riley, the Democratic nominee.

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