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LITTLE ROCK — A new state senator from northeast Arkansas chosen in a special election earlier this month is being sworn in to his seat.

Republican John Cooper was scheduled to be sworn in to the state Senate at a ceremony Tuesday. Cooper was elected to the state Senate seat that was vacated by former Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout. Bookout resigned last year after he was fined by the state Ethics Commission for spending thousands from his campaign on personal items.

Cooper's victory gives Republicans a 22-13 majority in the state Senate. His win also bodes ill for the "private option" Medicaid expansion that was approved by the Legislature last year. Cooper ran on a vow to end the expansion.

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