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The Gang’s (Almost) All Here

Four of the five Arkansas Democrats on Capitol Hill announced their support Friday for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) 2008 presidential bid. [IMGCAP(1)]

Clinton spent 12 years as first lady of Arkansas, and she returned to the state over the weekend to headline the state Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner Saturday night.

On the eve of the dinner, Sen. Mark Pryor and Reps. Marion Berry, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder endorsed Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton is one of Arkansas’ favorite daughters,” Pryor said in a statement released by the Clinton campaign. “She made us proud as First Lady of Arkansas, and she’ll do so again as President of the United States.”

But notably absent from the Arkansas announcement was Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), the only woman in the Natural State’s delegation.

Lincoln, who was slated to introduce Clinton at Saturday’s dinner in Little Rock, said she would make her endorsement closer to the February 2008 Arkansas primary. She also said she was grateful to Clinton for helping to make the dinner a success.

“I like Hillary Clinton as a friend and colleague and believe she would make a great President,” Lincoln said in a statement released to Roll Call. “I also believe that many in our Democratic field of candidates would be a dramatic improvement over the incumbent Administration. I’m proud that Arkansas will be one of the nation’s earliest primary states and I hope our voters will have the opportunity to welcome some of these other candidates to Arkansas.”

Among the former Arkansas legislators also endorsing Clinton are ex-Sens. Dale Bumpers (D) and David Pryor (D), Mark Pryor’s father.

— Lauren W. Whittington

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