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ARKANSAS

Republicans eye gains in state

LITTLE ROCK | The sagging fortunes of major Democratic campaigns in Arkansas are prompting some Democrats to fear the state could soon become a long-term Republican stronghold like the rest of the South.

Alone in the region, Arkansas has remained reliably Democratic over the years. But President Obama’s deep unpopularity has severely hampered Democratic candidates in the midterm election.

Polls show Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln is trailing in her re-election bid and that Republicans could win three of the state’s four House seats. With Arkansas voters becoming increasingly like the Republican electorate nationwide, state Republican leaders believe the party should be able to hold any seats it wins this November.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Paul: eligibility age may need raising

LOUISVILLE, Ky. | U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said Sunday the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare may need to be raised for future recipients.

But Mr. Paul, speaking during the first televised debate of the general election season with Democratic opponent Jack Conway, said he doesn’t want to change those benefits for older people already receiving them. The debate was aired on Fox News Channel.

“But we do have to admit that we have the baby boom generation getting ready to retire, and we’re going to double the amount of retirees,” he said. “And to put our head in the sand and just say we’re just going to keep borrowing more money is not going to work. There will have to be changes for the younger generation.”

Major issues of the race thus far have revolved around spending and taxes.

Mr. Paul has become a favorite of the “tea party” with his positions on smaller government and a balanced budget. Mr. Conway has also appealed to tea party supporters, describing himself as a fiscally responsible Democrat who understands why voters are frustrated about rising federal spending.

CONNECTICUT

National Democrats bash McMahon in ad

HARTFORD | National Democrats have begun airing a TV ad attacking the business record of the Republican candidate for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seat, accusing former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon of being “a bad CEO.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a 30-second spot on Saturday. It marks the first time the DSCC, a Washington-based organization that works to get Democrats elected to the Senate, has run a TV spot in the competitive race since Attorney General Richard Blumenthal secured the party’s nomination in August.

The ad focuses on McMahon’s work at World Wrestling Entertainment, where she was the CEO until last fall, when she decided to run for her first public office. It accuses her of laying off workers while taking bonuses for herself, spending thousands on lobbyists to secure tax breaks, and supporting corporate tax breaks.

The ad refers to Mrs. McMahon as “a bad CEO” who would be “a worse senator.”

In response, Mrs. McMahon’s campaign focused on Mr. Blumenthal, who has been the state’s attorney general for nearly two decades.

“Dick Blumenthal is a lifelong politician who has no idea how to create jobs, and he’s spent his career attacking job creators instead of helping them,” said McMahon spokesman Ed Patru. He accused Mr. Blumenthal of supporting higher taxes and more government.

INTERIOR

Interior creates revenue office for drilling

The Interior Department has created a new agency to collect billions of dollars in royalties for onshore and offshore drilling.

The new Office of Natural Resources Revenue, created Friday, is separate from the agency that oversees offshore drilling and regulates leasing. That agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, replaced the former Minerals Management Service last summer amid criticism of lax oversight in the wake of the BP oil spill.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said taxpayers will be better protected by a collection agency that is no longer linked to drilling oversight.

Greg Gould, a longtime Interior official, will head the 600-employee agency. Interior collected $10.6 billion last year from leasing activities on federal land and offshore.

NEW YORK

Cuomo: Infidelity claims hurtful

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo says allegations of marital infidelity leveled at him by his Republican rival are demeaning and hurtful.

Mr. Cuomo made his comments Friday on New York City’s Staten Island, where he was endorsed by the conservative borough president, James Molinaro.

It was the first time Mr. Cuomo has spoken publicly since his GOP opponent, Carl Paladino, suggested in an interview Wednesday that Mr. Cuomo may have had “paramours” during his marriage to now former wife Kerry Kennedy.

Mr. Paladino has acknowledged fathering a child with a mistress 10 years ago.

Mr. Paladino subsequently got into a much-publicized dustup with another reporter who pressed Mr. Paladino for proof of his allegations. Mr. Paladino has since said he has no evidence that Cuomo was unfaithful.

Mr. Cuomo says Mr. Paladino’s comments have hurt his family. He and Kennedy have three daughters.

MASSACHUSETTS

Independent vows to stay in race

BOSTON | Timothy Cahill says he is continuing his independent campaign for Massachusetts governor even though his running mate and two top staffers have quit on him.

A feisty Mr. Cahill made the announcement Friday at his campaign headquarters, a few hours after his running mate, Paul Loscocco, abandoned his campaign for lieutenant governor and endorsed Republican candidate Charles Baker.

Mr. Loscocco says Mr. Cahill cannot win and continuing the campaign would split the anti-incumbent vote so Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick would get a second term.

Mr. Cahill says he trusts the voters of Massachusetts to make the right decision on Nov. 2.

Mr. Loscocco’s defection came a week after Cahill senior strategist John Weaver and campaign manager Adam Meldrum quit the campaign.

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