Slain Ark. party chairman honored at funeral - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Slain Ark. party chairman honored at funeral

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Former President Clinton and others remembered Arkansas' slain Democratic Party chairman for the grace-filled moments he brought in his private life and the unity he brought to Democrats in the last two political seasons.

In brief remarks at the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church today, Clinton asked mourners to remember the times that Bill Gwatney touched their lives.

Governor Beebe remembered Gwatney's help during the governor's successful 2006 race - part of a seven-race sweep of Arkansas' seven statewide offices.

Gwatney, who would have turned 49 during next week's Democratic National Convention, was shot dead last Wednesday by Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy. Police shot Johnson to death after a 30-mile car chase when Johnson raised his gun and pointed it at his pursuers.

Police do not know why Johnson shot Gwatney, who owned three General Motors car dealerships and was a state senator for 10 years before becoming the state's Democratic chairman last year.

Flags at the state Capitol were at half-staff Monday in honor of Gwatney. Also, each of Gwatney's car dealerships closed today.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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