In 2010, Democratic Governor Mike Beebe won all 75 counties in Arkansas.
"The grattitude I feel for the way I've been embraced by folks on all sides of the political aisle is something that I'll always cherish," said Beebe in a recent sit down interview with KNWA. It was a landslide victory despite what was happening across the rest of the state, which was another surprise to many.
"Republicans on the state level had huge gains in the legislature. They had huge gains in constitutional officers," said Beebe.
"A lot of the people predicted that the world would end in 2010 when Republicans elected more numbers than we ever did before," said State Representative John Burris (R-98). "T
he net result of that we had a very fast session. We passed a more conservative budget than what was originally proposed. We passed more tax cuts than what was originally proposed."
Burris, the former state house minority leader going into his third and final term, expects to finish what his party started two years ago.
"Candidates have worked hard, [and] I feel good about our chances," added Burris.
Burris's colleague and successor, State Representative Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs, is focused and ready for the same.
J.R. Davis: "Do you believe it will go Republican on election night?"
Westerman: "I don't want to be overly confident, but looking at the polling numbers, we've got a good chance to get a Republican majority for the first time since reconstruction -- 138 years."
And if all goes as his party plans, Westerman will make history himself Tuesday night by becoming the first Republican Majority Leader in the state's history.
"It's a humbling experience," said Westerman, quickly adding, "but I think the responsibility and the work that's ahead kind of takes away from basking in that for too long."
And work there is...a lot of it.
"We certainly want to work with the governor, but we also expect that the governor will work with us," said Westerman.
Regardless of who's in control, both sides will have to tackle some big ticket items like income tax reform, education, government spending and Medicaid and Medicaid Expansion.
"As long as Democrats and Republicans in Arkansas don't get into a 100 percent partisan one-way and 100 percent partisan the other way, we won't turn into Washington," claims Beebe, who also believes that despite the possible shift in Arkansas's left leaning legislature, Washington has never characterized the way things work here in the Natural State. But he does have some concerns.
"We've always had fights in the legislature," said Beebe. "I hope that whatever happens that it doesn't devolve into just a party label thing. If it does, I think it will be bad for the state -- whoever's in charge."
"I don't think it's going to be divisive at all," said Burris. "We have a history of working together whether it be the 2011 session or the 2012 fiscal session...We had debate, and some people aren't comfortable with debate. But we didn't have gridlock."
Divisive? Maybe not. But interesting...
J.R.: What's the one thing that this majority won't budge on?"
Burris: No new taxes. Taxes are high enough."
J.R.: Plain and simple?"
Burris: "No new taxes."
We'll have to wait and see.