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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - This May 11, 2018 file photo shows a statue of James P. Clarke, a former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator in the late 1800s and 1900s, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, picked civil rights leader Daisy Bates and singer Johnny Cash as their top choices for the statues in a non-binding vote as lawmakers tried to whittle down their choices for new statues representing the state. Arkansas is currently represented by statues of Clarke, and Uriah Rose, a 19th century attorney. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas' senate endorsed placing statues of civil rights leader Daisy Bates and singer Johnny Cash at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, as lawmakers tried to whittle down a growing list of choices to replace existing monuments depicting two 19th century figures they say few people recognize.

The two were chosen after senators heard roughly an hour of presentations from their colleagues about 10 possible replacements for the Clarke and Rose statues. Other ideas pitched included Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL from Hot Springs who was killed in Afghanistan, and Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Lawmakers have floated other ideas, including Walmart founder Sam Walton

In a non-binding vote, the majority-Republican Senate voted Bates as its first choice and Cash as its second choice to replace existing statues representing Arkansas in Washington. Arkansas is currently represented by statues of James P. Clarke, a former governor and U.S. senator in the late 1800s and 1900s, and Uriah Rose, a 19th century attorney.

Each state is allotted two statues at the U.S. Capitol. Republican Sen. Bart Hester, who last year called for replacing the two statues, said he was surprised when he saw the statues on a Capitol tour a few years back.

"The thing that struck me immediately was I had no idea who the people from Arkansas were," Hester said.

Clarke's great-great grandson, who was the Democratic Party's nominee for a congressional seat in central Arkansas last year, also called for Clarke's statue to be replaced and condemned his ancestor's statement that the South looked to the Democratic Party to preserve "white standards."

Bates was an activist and writer who mentored the nine black children who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Cash was born in Kingsland.

"The sacrifices (Bates) made has helped lead to who we are today here in Arkansas," said Republican Sen. David Wallace.

Senate President Jim Hendren said Wednesday's vote will allow lawmakers to move forward with legislation on the replacement statues. A bill by Wallace calling for the Bates and Cash statues has failed before a Senate panel over disagreement on who would be best to represent the state.

State Desk on 02/07/2019

Print Headline: Senate endorses Bates, Cash statues

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