WASHINGTON--Rep. Beryl Anthony <
will face a runoff election June 9 after failing to win a majority of votes in Tuesday's Democratic primary contest in Arkansas's fourth congressional district.
Rep. Anthony, a leading proponent <
of tax-exempt bonds in Congress, received 40% of the vote in a three-way race. His runoff opponent is Arkansas secretary of state Bill McCuen, who received 30% of the vote and narrowly edged out insurance salesman Pat Pappas for second place.
The winner of the June 9 contest <
will face Republican lawyer Jay Dickey in November.
Municipal lobbyists said Rep. <
Anthony, now in his seventh term, appeared to be the victim of a spreading anti-incumbency mood among voters. Tuesday's primary races also saw challengers defeat incumbents Rep. Bill Alexander, D-Ark., and Rep. Carroll Hubbard, D-Ky.
One lobbyist said she had feared <
Rep. Anthony would not receive even a plurality, but was relieved he remains in the race.
"I'm really happy he's there," the <
lobbyist said. "It's a good sign he's where he is, considering what's happened to Alexander, what's happened to Hubbard, and what's been happening all along" in this year's congressional races.
Rep. Anthony also may have <
been hurt by his connection to the House bank scandal, in which most members of the House were found to have bounced checks at the bank over a three-year period, lobbyists said.
In March, Rep. Anthony acknowledged <
77 overdrafts totaling $57,500. House bank records, however, show the congressman's overdrafts totaled 109, and Rep. Anthony has said he was investigating to determine the correct number.
A member of the House Ways and <
Means Committee, Rep. Anthony first became prominent in municipal circles in 1988 when he formed the Anthony Public Finance Commission to study public finance issues: Members of the commission include Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential hopeful. The group produced a report in 1989 describing how the Tax Reform Act of 1986 impeded issuance of tax-exempt debt.
In 1990 and again in 1991, Rep. <
Anthony introduced legislation that would ease a number of tax law bond curbs, particularly the arbitrage rebate requirement. Several of his proposals found their way into tax simplification legislation introduced last year by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-III.
Rep. Anthony's most recent legislative <
initiative in the bond area came earlier this month, when the Ways and Means panel debated a comprehensive energy bill. During that session, the committee added an amendment by Rep. Richard Schulze, R-Pa., that would remove investment restrictions on nuclear decomissioning funds.
Rep. Anthony warned that removing <
those curbs could hurt demand for municipal bonds, and he offered an amendment that would boost the supply of bank-qualified bonds.
Under current law, banks are allowed <
to deduct 80% of the cost of carrying tax-exempt bonds if they are purchased from an issuer that expects to sell no more than $10 million annually. The panel approved the amendment, which would raise that amount to $20 million. The full House was expected to vote on the energy bill late yesterday.