It didn't take any time for Arkansas Republican gubernatorial nominee Sheffield Nelson to step into the runoff primary fight between former Klansman and American Nazi Party official Ralph Forbes and Muskie Harris, a black businessman and former University of Arkansas football star.
Nelson, nominated over Rep. Tommy Robinson in the May 29 primary, announced last week that he will vote and campaign for Harris in Tuesday's GOP runoff in the lieutenant governor's contest. Campaign funds and volunteers have been shifted to aid Harris, who trailed Forbes by 10 points in the first primary.
A few days after the primary, Forbes had a much-publicized encounter at a television taping with black activist Robert "Say" McIntosh, a man Forbes had tangled with a year earlier when McIntosh was trying to burn an American flag in a protest at the state capitol.
In the recent incident, McIntosh, in a turnaround, taped an endorsement for Forbes, then -- without explanation and with the cameras rolling -- punched Forbes four times in the face and upper body and wrestled him to the floor, cursing him as he fell. Then he repeated his endorsement, saying: "He can hate all he wants to as long as I know where he stands. . . . "
Forbes said he plans to seek a warrant for McIntosh's arrest.
Nelson will oppose Gov. Bill Clinton (D) in November. The winner of the Forbes-Harris runoff will meet ex-congressman Jim Guy Tucker (D) in the lieutenant governor's contest -- a separate line on the ballot.